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Abbott responds to O’Rourke challenge in Texas: ‘Bring it’

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) responded to former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-Texas) announcement that he is running for governor in the Lone Star State, telling the ex-lawmaker to “bring it.”

Abbott, in a tweet sent shortly after news broke about O’Rourke’s 2022 gubernatorial bid, went after the former congressman on a variety of issues, including immigration and gun rights.

Abbott wrote that O’Rourke wants to “defund the police,” “kill good paying oil & gas jobs,” “allow chaotic open border policies,” “support the failing Biden agenda,” “impose socialism” and “take your guns.”

O’Rourke announced in a fundraising email and video statement on Monday that he is running for governor of Texas, his latest bid for a government position after failed bids for U.S. Senate in 2018 and the White House in 2020.

The former congressman said in his video announcement that his gubernatorial run is in response to the state government’s poor reaction to a winter storm earlier this year, which knocked out power throughout the state due to the unusually frigid temperatures and led to a number of deaths.

“This past February when the electricity grid failed and millions of fellow Texans were without power, which meant that the lights wouldn’t turn on, the heat wouldn’t run and pretty soon their pipes froze and the water stopped flowing, they were abandoned by those who are elected to serve and look out for them,” O’Rourke said.

“It’s a symptom of a much larger problem in Texas right now: Those in positions of public trust have stopped listening to, serving and paying attention to and trusting the people of Texas,” he added.

O’Rourke’s announcement sets the stage for a fierce match-up between him and Abbott, who was first elected to serve as governor in 2014.

While O’Rourke waged a competitive campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in 2018 — coming within 3 points of the GOP incumbent — Abbott has raked in more than $55 million for his campaign and easily won reelection in the state in 2018, making him a formidable candidate.

Former President Trump won Texas in 2020 by more than 5.5 percentage points.

Democrats are hoping to galvanize their base to support O’Rourke, focusing on a number of controversial bills that Abbott has signed into law. 

Most notably, the governor signed the state’s “fetal heartbeat” abortion bill in May. The legislation, which was enacted in September, bans all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

Additionally, the law allows most private citizens to sue abortion providers or other individuals who aid in the medical procedure. Successful lawsuits can be awarded at least $10,000.

The Supreme Court is currently examining the law.

Abbott last month also signed a bill that bans transgender students from joining sports teams that correspond with their gender identities.

Tags Beto O'Rourke Donald Trump Greg Abbott Ted Cruz

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