Governor Greg Abbott has been re-elected to a second term as Texas Governor, easily defeating Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez on Tuesday.
“I am deeply honored to continue serving the people of Texas as governor of our great state. I want to thank all the voters and volunteers who made this victory possible. Tonight, voters across Texas sent a clear message. They voted to build on the success of the past four years and to keep Texas on a path toward greater opportunity and prosperity. We must always remember that what unites as Texans is far greater than our differences. With the election behind us, it is time for us to work side by side to build a brighter future for every person in our state. Together, we will elevate Texas to even greater heights.”
Abbott succeeded Rick Perry, now the U.S. Secretary of Energy, after serving as the Texas Attorney General from 2002 through 2015.
He held the office longer that anyone else in the state’s history. He has also held a seat on the Texas Supreme Court and a state district judge in district Harris County.
Valdez served as Dallas County Sheriff from 2005-2017 and was the first openly gay sheriff in America. She served in law enforcement for over 40 years in the U.S. Army and as an agent in the Department of Homeland Security.
During their only debate, they battled over topics ranging from gun control in schools, expanding Medicare, and even the controversial “bathroom bill”.
Valdez criticized Abbott during the debate for not opening the state’s savings account, the Rainy Day fund, after Hurricane Harvey.
“The Rainy Day Fund is the biggest savings account in the United States. Governor, it rained!”
She also alluded to how Abbott did not call a special session after the hurricane, but did call for one to open up debate for the controversial “bathroom bill”.
“He calls a special session for bathrooms but does not call a special session when people are dying.”
One of the few times Abbott directly responded to Valdez was to criticize her on trying to expand Medicare.
“She wants to make a deal with a federal government that’s $21 trillion in debt,” Abbott said. “She’s willing to write a blank check to the federal government that I will not write.”
Abbott was leading in a poll from late October by fourteen points heading into the final week.
Back in 2010, he was elected over Wendy Davis by more than twenty points.