For Texas governor: Greg Abbott, without a doubt

Gov. Greg Abbott is often ranked as the state’s most popular politician, and it’s obvious why.

Abbott, a Republican, is like a wise judge presiding calmly amid the rowdy mayhem of the Texas Legislature. He may not always be right, but he earns respect.

Abbott’s steady calm hand will be needed as Texas goes into a new legislative session. The Texas House will have a rookie speaker and apparently will move closer to the political center. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a bombastic Houston Republican and ally of President Trump, is a conservative blowtorch as leader of the Texas Senate.

Texas Governor
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Sue Ogrocki AP

Abbott and Patrick have built a closer relationship in recent years, but when Abbott wants his way, he gets it.

The governor bucked Tea Party Republicans to support funding for pre-K education, although more is needed. Abbott also was willing to consider changes in Texas’ gun laws after several tragedies, although gun rights activists have pushed back.

Much of the next legislative session will revolve around business and money: how to sustain Texas’ growth and success, and how to pay for both public school needs and coastal recovery after Hurricane Harvey.

Gubernatorial race
Lupe Valdez is the 2018 Democratic nominee in the race for Texas governor. J. Scott Applewhite AP

Abbott is the best champion for Texas business and a strong economy, as long as he stays away from past distractions such as an unfriendly, overly punitive “bathroom bill.”

Dallas Democrat Lupe Valdez, a 40-year law officer, federal agent and county sheriff, had the experience to spark thoughtful discussion on law enforcement, crime fighting, gun rights and border issues. But, beyond that, she disappointed.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board endorses Greg Abbott for governor.

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