700 Houstonians supported Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’ Rourke at Settegast Park in the Second Ward of Houston to rally around Latino voters and their top ballot issues of the November election.
According to a recent poll by the Texas Politics Project, O’Rourke leads by a 19-point advantage with Hispanic voters and is narrowing in on Abbott’s five-point lead over him.
“After traveling every part of this state and every part of Harris County, we are going to win this election on the night of November 8,” O’ Rourke said. “We’re going to win because we are fighting for every woman to make her own decisions about her own body, her own future, and her own healthcare.”
O’Rourke also named Abbott the worst governor in the U.S. and pointed to the governor refusing to call a special session after the Uvalde mass shooting and Texas Republicans’ unpopular abortion ban.
In addition to abortion rights, O’Rourke addressed immigration reform, the power grid, gun safety legislation, canceling the state standardized test, expanding Medicaid, supporting unions and labor, implementing universal pre-K, and raising the minimum wage to $15.
At the rally, elected officials, Houston Democratic candidates, and voters emphasized O’Rourke’s attention to Latino Texans and want a governor who cares about their communities.
The Signal spoke to prospective first-time voters and University of Houston freshmen Soledad Lopez and Ana Alvarez, who said it’s hard to be excited about this upcoming election but look forward to voting for O’Rourke in November.
“First and foremost, my right to an abortion,” Lopez said. “ I personally will never have one, but I don’t think that’s a right; that should be taken from me. And I’m Mexican. I don’t want someone who looks down on them. [Beto] does a really good job at talking with Hispanics. And does his best to speak Spanish at these events.”
Alvarez also said O’Rourke’s attention to Mexican culture attracted her to his campaign.
“Especially in Texas, since Mexican culture is so big and takes a big impact on Texas, he’s trying to connect with Hispanic culture,” she said. “I enjoy seeing it, and he’s trying to get to know the people he’s serving.”
Twenty minutes away in River Oaks, Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott held a private fundraising event with Republican donors and a “Back the Blue” press conference at the Houston Police Officers Union headquarters.
Although violent crime has increased under Abbott’s time as governor, the incumbent has pushed the fault on county and city Democratic officials.
O’Rourke released a television advertisement slamming Abbott for passing permitless carry despite police officers’ opposition in the 2021 legislative session.
O’Rourke told the Signal he plans to work with all law enforcement officials regardless of their political ideology and will focus on justice, accountability, and safety as governor.
“I will work with law enforcement to make sure they are fully funded and trained, but they are also held accountable, and that is something that has been missing under Greg Abbott,” he said. “It’s been 16 weeks now, and no accountability for the 91 DPS troopers who were at Uvalde while those kids were bleeding to death in that classroom. No one has been fired. Those families still do not know the facts of the truth.”
Election Day for this race is Nov. 8, 2022.
Photo: Kennedy Sessions / © Texas Signal Media Company
Kennedy is a recent graduate of the University of St.Thomas in Houston where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Celt Independent. Kennedy brings her experience of writing about social justice issues to the Texas Signal where she serves as our Political Reporter. She does everything from covering crime beats, Texas politics, and community activism. Kennedy is a passionate reporter, avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and loves to travel.