Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott easily defeated several vocal challengers in Tuesday’s primary, leading to a November showdown with Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who also won.
The incumbent governor, who is seeking a third term, easily won his party’s nomination, fending off six other candidates, including Allen West, a former congressman and chairman of the Texas Republican Party.
“Republicans have sent a message,” Abbott said. “They want to keep Texas on the extraordinary path of opportunity we’ve provided over the past eight years.”
O’Rourke – who made high-profile, albeit unsuccessful, bids for the Senate in 2018 and for the presidency in 2020 – had been heavily favored to emerge from a five-person field.
He celebrated his victory with a rally in Fort Worth, where in 2018 he toppled Texas’ largest red county.
“This group of people, and more, are going to make me the first Democrat to serve as governor of the state of Texas since 1994,” he told supporters.
The most-watched race in the Lone Star State, however, was the Republican primary for state attorney general, which saw incumbent Ken Paxton locked in an uphill battle against three challengers.
Paxton – who is the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation into whether he used his position to improperly assist a campaign donor – had hoped an endorsement from former President Donald Trump would put him above above.
But the beleaguered GA appeared to be heading for a runoff on May 24 after failing to clear the 50% threshold needed to win the primary.
It was not immediately clear who would join him in this race among the other candidates: Representative Louie Gohmert, Texas Lands Commissioner George P. Bush (son of Jeb, nephew of George W. and grandson of George HW ), and former State Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.
Also to be decided was the race between nine-term Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, who faces an incremental challenge from Jessica Cisneros, an immigration lawyer who has the backing of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
The “Squad” member recently traveled to South Texas to campaign for Cisneros in his bid to unseat the incumbent congressman.
Cuellar, a critic of the Biden administration’s border policies, is reportedly being investigated by the FBI after agents raided his home and campaign office in January.
With post wires
New York Post