Home Local News Gov. Abbott campaigns on border security in South Texas

Gov. Abbott campaigns on border security in South Texas


ALICE — In a county that is 80% Hispanic and that he lost by 5 percentage points four years ago, Gov. Greg Abbott at a campaign stop Tuesday said that his twin messages of border security and robust law enforcement are the key to Republicans’ efforts to wrest South Texas from the grips of the Democrats.

“All you’ve got to do is look at what is the most important in the state, and that is the border,” Abbott told the USA TODAY Network in his first sit-down interview with a traditional print media outlet of the fall campaign. “And where is that most important? At the border.”

The governor, seeking his third four-year term against a well-known and well-funded Beto O’Rourke in the Nov. 8 election, was the featured attraction of the Jim Wells County Republican Party gathering inside a packed community center in Alice. The venue is a two-hour drive from the Rio Grande and 45 minutes from the Gulf Coast, and most in the audience cheered loudly when he talked about his sometimes controversial policies that send thousands of state troopers and National Guard soldiers to virtually all corners of South Texas.

Republican campaign swag on display at the Jim Wells County Republican Party gathering in Alice, Sept. 20, 2022.

“We’ve seen already the way that South Texas is changing, and it’s changing for several reasons,” Abbott said during his 25-minute speech. “One reason is because of the anger that so many people have because of Joe Biden’s open-border policies that will not be tolerated.”

Describing his four-month effort to send migrants who crossed into Texas without authorization and are now awaiting rulings on whether they can remain in the United States on buses to Washington, Chicago and New York City, Abbott drew loud cheers.

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