Politics in Texas: Beto O’Rourke stops gubernatorial campaign at Fort Bend County Fairgrounds
O’Rourke spoke about the Texas power grid, voting rights, gun laws, and challenged the state’s current leadership. Afterwards, ABC13 asked him what singular issue most interests those who attend his gatherings.
“The vast majority,” he said, “people are talking about jobs and talking about the kind of jobs we want to see here. The kind that really pay off.”
But the job O’Rourke himself is seeking will not be easy to gain. Outgoing Governor Greg Abbott has a large campaign chest and rules a strong Republican majority in both the Texas House and Senate.
“It looks like in the current landscape Democrats, Democrats in Texas have a real challenge,” said Eddy Carder, assistant professor at Prairie View A&M. “It will be an uphill battle for them to make significant reversals in the Republican leadership in the next cycle.”
While O’Rourke’s path is clear through the primary and general election, Gov. Abbott faces challenges within his own party. Notably, they come from former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West and former State Senator Don Huffines, both of whom describe Abbott as not being conservative enough.
“To come out of the primary you have to adapt to the left in the Democratic primary and the right in the Republican primary,” GOP strategist Court Koenning said. “And so he has to do it because he has a challenge, but when the primary elections are over he will probably moderate a bit.”
There are factors that could radically change the dynamics. Another grid failure or a worsening pandemic could hurt Abbott. The right to vote and abortion could motivate some to the polls. O’Rourke doesn’t seem to think it would take all of this if he talks about what he believes is most important to all Texans.
“When we stay focused on jobs, on great schools and on making sure everyone can see a doctor,” O’Rourke said. “Then we give everyone a reason to participate in the election and decide the outcome.”
For more on the Texas gubernatorial race, follow Tom Abrahams on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved.