AUSTIN, Texas - With in-person events scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke Thursday morning held an online meeting with a group of nine Texas mayors who support his campaign.
"These men and women are my heroes, and they offer us an inspiring and inspiring example of leadership when we need it most," said O’Rourke.
During a media briefing, O'Rourke criticized Gov. Greg Abbott for how the local officials say they are treated by the state. "Loud and clear from every single one of the mayors who was on this call was they want a partner in Austin, and they're not too particular. Whether that partner is a Republican or a Democrat, what they want to know is that they have someone who's there to meet them halfway and to work on the issues that are most important in their communities," said O'Rourke.
Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez and Austin Mayor Steve Adler joined O'Rourke. Mendez claims the governor has never called him and criticized Abbott's efforts to control recent migrant border crossings. "Well, quite frankly, Operation Lone Star is something that, in my opinion, wasn't necessary," said Mendez.
Adler claimed Abbott's stance against local mask and COVID-19 vaccination mandates is not pro-business. "If the state had the same mortality rate that we have in Austin, over thirty-five thousand Texans would still be alive right now," said Adler.
O'Rourke had this to say when asked about his pandemic plan. "First of all, I would listen to, partner with and follow the lead of these mayors " said O’Rourke.
Tuesday, Abbott met with his own group of politically friendly mayors at a luncheon in Denton County and spoke about his drug prevention efforts. "We have seized more deadly doses than is enough to kill every man, woman and child in Texas, California, New York, Illinois and Florida combined. That's just what we've seized," said Abbott Tuesday afternoon.
In San Antonio and in Houston, Abbott continued to portray O'Rourke as a wrong choice for Texas. "I am running for re-election to make sure that no leftist, radical, liberal will take over the office of governor like Beto O’Rourke will take over the office of governor and be dangerous and defend our police," said Abbott during his Houston event.
O'Rourke during his mayor meeting brought up the failure of the power grid last year and blamed Abbott for it. The governor's campaign also threw some new punches Thursday. In a new statement the Abbott campaign claimed O'Rourke is extreme on immigration, citing his past statements about tearing down the border wall.
Both will be hot button issues that will be heard a lot between now and November.
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