Greg Abbott highlights education, diversity as general election begins


Photo Credit: Shelby Tauber | Daily Texan Staff

SAN ANTONIO — After securing a predictable win in the Republican gubernatorial primary elections Tuesday night, Attorney General Greg Abbott spoke to a crowd of at least 300 people at his primary election party and highlighted education and diversity.

Abbott said he is the best candidate to represent the ideals of the people of Texas.

“Now that the primaries are over, it’s time that we turn our eyes towards the general election,” Abbott said. “'What direction will be the best direction for the future of the state of Texas?’ Some answer that question by demanding more government. … If we are going to fight for the ideals and values of the greatest people to inhabit this earth, the people of Texas, I need your help to elect me as your next governor.”

Abbott also discussed education in his speech, something he has focused on throughout his campaign. He said he wants to make the state's education system the best in the nation.

“The way I see things is that Texas is ranked number one in so many ways,” Abbott said. “Number one in creating jobs, number one in energy and exports. It’s time for Texas to set its sight on a new number one position in this nation. My goal is to make education in Texas ranked number one in America.”

Abbott, who was introduced by Hope Andrade, former Texas Secretary of State, said he had several changes in mind for the Texas education system if he is elected governor.

“We must provide more online and digital learning tools to help students advance the pathway to education,” Abbott said. “We must make higher education more affordable and accessible to students across the state.”

In his speech, Abbott said he wants to see his wife become the first Hispanic first lady in Texas. He said he represents the values of all individuals in Texas — regardless of their cultural backgrounds.

“It doesn’t matter what your race is, it doesn’t matter what your background is, what your age is, what your ZIP code is,” Abbott said. “If you are a person in this state looking for opportunity, for a way to get ahead or to elevate or advance yourself, then I am your candidate for governor of this great state.”

Abbott said he thinks the future of Texas lies in securing citizen’s rights, as stipulated in the Constitution.  

“I think that the answer for the future of Texas is one that offers more freedom and more opportunities for our fellow Texans,” Abbott said. “We must never forget that the rights that we have — they don’t come from the government. Instead, those rights come from God.”

Johnathan Forsyth, a recent graduate of Texas A&M who attended the event, said he respects Abbott’s attitude towards his supporters.  

“I think he’s really down to earth,” Forsyth said. “I was in a civics class and he actually came and visited the class. He showed up even though there were only 25 people in the class. He cares about spending time with people, whether they’re in a big group or whether it’s a small group of people who don’t necessarily matter. If they’re in his presence, he treats them with respect and I think that’s what it means to be down to earth.”

Allan Parker, a lawyer from San Antonio, said he thinks Abbott has a good chance of winning the general election in November.

“I think it’s very important to defend the constitution and he has done that very aggressively [as Attorney General], which I admire," Parker said. “I think Wendy Davis is very extreme on the abortion issue and that will hurt her in Texas.”

This article has been updated since its original posting.