Texas Governor Greg Abbott spoke about his economic record, education initiatives and crime-fighting efforts during a speech to Fredrick Douglass Republicans of Tarrant County on Friday.
His visit comes days before the county and state runoff on May 24, and weeks after the latest Texas Politics Project poll showed him with an 11-point lead over Democratic Party nominee Beto O. ‘Rourke.
Abbott sought to distract the Republican and Democratic parties, portraying the latter as enemies of opportunity and supporters of government intrusion into daily life. This theme arose as Abbott promoted his school choice initiative.
“Right now the government decides which school your child will attend. I don’t think that’s fair,” Abbott said.
His plan would tie school funding to each student and give parents choice in which school their child attends.
He said this program could have been used during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow parents to move their students to school with less or stricter protocols depending on their preference.
Abbott also expressed support for a constitutional amendment to reform bail, making it harder for defendants charged but not convicted of violent crimes to get out on bail before trial.
The measure passed the Texas State Senate in September 2021, but failed to garner the two-thirds supermajority needed for the state legislature to appear on the public ballot.
Abbott touted the state’s business-friendly environment and said more businesses are relocating to the state to escape crime in the places they relocate from.
He cited the example of Republic Finance, a consumer loan company, which recently moved to Plano, Texas, after 70 years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The company said crime, infrastructure and education issues made it difficult to attract talent to Baton Rouge, according to a Greater Baton Rouge Business Report article cited by Abbot.
Republicans are an opportunity, Abbot said while promising to give Texans the opportunity of limited government if they win re-election in November.