Gov. Greg Abbott talked crime, education and opportunity in latest trip to Fort Worth

·2 min read
Harrison Mantas/hmantas@star-telegram.com

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott talked up his economic record, education initiatives and efforts to fight crime during a speech to the Fredrick Douglass Republicans of Tarrant County on Friday.

His visit comes days before the May 24 county and statewide runoff, and a few weeks after the latest Texas Politics Project poll showed him with a commanding 11-point lead over Democratic party nominee Beto O’Rourke.

Abbott sought to draw a distraction between the Republican and Democratic parties, painting the latter as enemies of opportunity and supporters of government intrusion into everyday life. This theme came up while Abbott promoted his school choice initiative.

“Right now government decides which school your child will attend. I don’t think that’s right,” Abbott said.

His plan would tie school funding to individual students and give parents the choice about which school their child would attend.

He said this program could have been used during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow parents to move their students to school with either less or more stringent protocols depending on preference.

Abbott also talked up his support for a constitutional amendment to reform bail making it more difficult 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 meet the necessary two-thirds super-majority in the state legislature to make it onto the public ballot.

Abbott touted the state’s business-friendly environment and claimed more businesses were relocating to the state to escape crime in the places they were moving from.

He cited the example of Republic Finance, a consumer loan company, who recently moved to Plano, Texas, after 70 years in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The company said issues with crime, infrastructure and education made it difficult to attract talent to Baton Rouge, according to an article in the Greater Baton Rouge Business Report cited by Abbot.

Republicans are about opportunity, Abbot said while promising to offer Texans the opportunity that comes with limited government if re-elected this November.

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