More than 30 percent of Texas voters have already cast votes in this year’s midterm election and Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday traveled to Fort Worth to encourage anyone who hasn’t to hurry up and vote.
Abbott called on his fellow Republicans to support GOP candidates up and down the ballot, especially U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who is in a fierce re-election bid against Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso.
“This will be the largest turnout in any non-presidential election year ever,” Abbott told a crowd of more than 250 gathered at Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que on the city’s north side. “Do you know who cast all those votes? Neither do I. Are you comfortable not knowing? Neither am I.
“We need to make sure you take ownership in this.”
Early voting in the Nov. 6 election runs through this Friday.
In the first nine days of early voting, more than 3.6 million Texans have voted in person or by mail, according to the most recent Texas Secretary of State data.
That includes around 350,000, or 31 percent, of Tarrant County voters.
Abbott’s stop in Fort Worth comes days after Democrats held their own “Get Out the Vote” rally here, featuring O’Rourke and the Rev. Jesse Jackson as key speakers.
Jackson on Saturday urged a crowd of Democratic supporters to vote for O’Rourke.
“Texas is too great to have a second class senator,” he said. “It’s dark, but there’s a light coming out of Texas.”
Abbott faces Democrat Lupe Valdez, former Dallas County sheriff, in his re-election bid.
But he wasn’t stumping for himself Wednesday.
Instead he urged the crowd at Cooper’s to support local Republicans on the ballot, particularly legislative and judicial candidates.
This election is about far more than the next two years, four years, six years,” Abbott said. “It’s quite literally about the future of the United States itself.
“If ever we lose Texas to the Democrats, we will lose the United States of America forever,” he said. “We as patriots have a duty to our country to not let that happen. We have to keep Texas red.”