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Beto O’Rourke concludes campaign tour as Greg Abbott addresses rally in Alice, Texas

Beto O’Rourke concludes campaign tour as Greg Abbott addresses rally in Alice, Texas - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Beto O'Rourke, Democratic candidate for Texas governor, speaks to about 1,500 attendees Sept. 18, 2022, about his plans, if elected in the November midterm elections. O'Rourke completed his 49-day tour of Texas. Photo by Miranda Rodriguez

Beto O’Rourke wraps up his 49-day tour of Texas in San Antonio

An event surrounded by music, merchandise, local artists and community sounds more like a farmers market or artisan fair when, in reality, it is a final push to assemble Democratic voters in Texas. 

Nestled in the heart of San Antonio’s historic La Villita, gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke and labor activist Dolores Huerta said, “Si se puede!” 

“Juntos Se Puede,” a three-day long celebration and campaign rally, marks the end of O’Rourke’s 49-day tour of Texas. 

On Sept. 18, around 1,500 supporters piled into the assembly hall for a chance to hear O’Rourke and his guests speak about his plans for Texas, if elected this November. 

The main points of contention O’Rourke is focusing on are expanding medicaid, immigration reform, raising minimum wage, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights and gun control.  

The event was intimate and community-oriented. The atmosphere was more like a party, including live music from Las Cafeteras. 

O’Rourke and Huerta’s guests included: Cristela Alonzo, actress and producer; Joaquin Castro, Rep. (D-Texas); Julian Castro, former U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Mike Collier, Texas Lt. Gov. candidate; as well as organizations such as Planned Parenthood and Texas Organizing Project. All spoke about issues important to them and the power of the Latinx vote. 

Huerta commanded the crowd in chants demanding action and encouraging peace in challenging times. 

“El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz,” Huerta said, repeating a famous quote by Mexican Independence figure Benito Juarez; the crowd echoed the sentiment. 

Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s El Espejo magazine and other local media outlets were given the opportunity to speak with O’Rourke and Huerta after the assembly. 

Thalia Guzman, social media manager and staff writer for El Espejo, spoke with O’Rourke about A&M-San Antonio’s loss of its on-campus polling site and hinted at the potential of voter suppression in doing so. 

The university was recently reinstated as a polling location by Bexar County. An future Mesquite story will elaborate further.

O’Rourke said, “Ms. Huerta earlier mentioned some of the innovations that we’ve seen in other states that we would like to see here.” 

O’Rourke emphasized his plan for automatic voter registration when people turn 18 and same-day voter registration. 

O’Rourke also said he wants to push for the replacement of Confederate Heroes Day as a state holiday with election day. 

“These are common sense things that would enjoy the support of Republicans and Democrats because we’re all about making this democracy work,” he said. 

Over the course of these 49 days, O’Rourke made it a point to hit most counties — large and small, urban and rural. 

“We are going to those smaller counties,” O’Rourke said. “We are showing up for people where they are. We know that we haven’t earned somebody’s vote until we’ve listened to them, learned from them and chosen to work together with and for them.

“What I think Greg Abbott has done is, he takes people for granted,” he said. “So in these small rural counties, he thinks he has them in the bag and hasn’t shown up for them. For these larger urban counties, he’s written them off. It’s left this Texas-sized opportunity for us to go out there and fight for and win the votes of people who are going to decide the outcome of this election.”

Greg Abbott addresses crowd in rally at Alice, Texas

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott addressed a crowd at the “Faith, Family, Freedom” rally, hosted by the Jim Wells County Republican Party Sept. 20 in Alice, Texas.

“We also know that after God, faith is the most important thing that we can have, but we understand that if we don’t have freedom, we don’t have any of it,” Abbott said. “Faith, family, and freedom – those are values that connected with the Hispanic community and South Texas,” Abbott said in a story published Sept. 20 in the Alice Echo News Journal

Abbott’s primary objective is to emphasize the need for tougher border control. The city of Alice is a two-hour drive from the Rio Grande and 45 minutes away from the Gulf Coast. 

In Abbott’s first sit-down interview with the USA Today Network, he addressed why he has chosen to focus on the border. 

“Before the buses began rolling, most (people) in the United States did not know what was going on on the border,” Abbott said. “But, my God, as soon as they started showing up in New York City, the entire country knew what was going on on the U.S. border.”

According to Abbott’s Texas Plan, his main platform for reelection is to fight for Texas families and keep Texas values strong. This includes creating jobs, defending constitutional rights, securing the Texas border and increased funding for law enforcement.

Abbott is seeking reelection this November. He is running against Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke. Both candidates will host a debate on Sept. 30 in Edinburg, Texas. This will be the only debate between the candidates before the upcoming election. 

In a recent poll published by the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin, Abbott leads O’Rourke by five percentage points. 

For more information about Abbott’s campaign, visit https://www.gregabbott.com/

About the Author

Miranda Rodriguez
Miranda Rodriguez is a post-baccalaureate communication major at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She received a bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2018. In her spare time, she enjoys going to comic cons, attending concerts and watching films. After she graduates, Miranda wants to explore a career in journalism.

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