Should Beto take on Abbott for Texas Governor?

Ash Jurberg

There’s a lot of planning and strategizing behind the scenes. Whatever Beto decides to do is the domino that affects everybody.”

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The Republicans are positioning themselves early for the 2022 race for Governor of Texas. Current Governor Greg Abbott is seeking a third term. Other candidates in the Texas gubernatorial race include Republican and Texas GOP Chair Allen West and Don Huffines – a Dallas real estate developer and former state senator who was the first Republican to declare they would run against Abbott.

There has been speculation over whether actor and favorite Texas son- Matthew McConaughey would run even though he hasn't aligned himself with any party.

Meanwhile, the Democrats are mainly silent.

It seems they are waiting to see whether former Texas Rep Beto O'Rourke will announce a run.

There’s a lot of planning and strategizing behind the scenes. Whatever Beto decides to do is the domino that affects everybody.” Royce Brooks, the executive director of Annie’s List, the Texas Democratic women-in-politics group

O'Rourke himself remains non-committal.

"The filing deadline's not until December," Beto O'Rourke

He does seem to be setting some things in motion with a recent tour of many Texas towns across June.

The El Paso native visited the major cities of Dallas, Houston, and Austin and many smaller towns across Texas. In each city, he advocated for voting rights and, despite the summer heat, helped register eligible voters in an attempt. No meeting or town was too small as O'Rourke held town halls with less than 100 people in attendance.

You cannot expect people to participate in the state’s politics if you don’t show them the basic respect of listening to them and understanding what’s most important to them and then reflecting that in the campaign that you run. You can’t do that at a distance, and you can’t do that through a pollster or a focus group. You have to do that in person.”

While O'Rourke's primary focus is on the voting rights-an issue he is passionate about; observers believe this is the platform from which he may announce his candidacy.

The most recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University poll of registered voters found that O'Rourke is the third favored candidate behind Abbott and McConaughey.

  • Greg Abbott: 49 percent favorable rating
  • Matthew McConaughey: 42 percent favorable rating
  • Beto O'Rourke: 34 percent favorable rating
  • Ken Paxton: 29 percent favorable rating
  • George P. Bush: 26 percent favorable rating
  • Allen West: 25 percent favorable rating

Since that poll, Gov Abbott has enacted several controversial laws, including Senate Bill 8 - the anti-abortion bill and Senate Bill 1- that tightens Texas state election law. As debate rages over these laws, perhaps it offers an opportunity for someone like Beto to make a strong run against Abbott.

Whoever takes on Abbott, one thing that is certain is that they will need to raise a lot of funds. In January, the political action committee Texans for Abbott had already raised $38 million in cash.

It promises to be an exciting race. Abbott- the current governor and close ally of former President Donald Trump. McConaughey- proud Texan and Hollywood actor with star appeal and O'Rourke the popular Democrat who ran for President in 2020. All could lay claims to being Texas Governor.

One thing is for sure- the next twelve months will see a spotlight shining on Texas politics.

Who do you think will win out of Abbott, McConaughey, and O'Rourke? Or is there someone else you would like to see make a run for Texas Governor?

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