SAN ANTONIO – The two men vying to be the next governor of Texas, and widely expected to face each other in the general election in November, made appearances on the same day and within minutes of each other Thursday in San Antonio.
Gov. Greg Abbott collected endorsements from a table full of representatives of a range of industries during an event at Sunbelt Material Handling on the city’s East Side.
“Texas is now the number one state in America for jobs created by black business owners and Hispanic woman business owners,” Abbott said.
After touting business growth in Texas, Abbott was asked whether business growth across the state was impacted by the failures of the state’s power grid during the winter storm in February 2021.
In the year since, Texas set a record for the number of businesses that moved their headquarters to the state, according to Abbott.
“They invest a lot of money into studying the power grid, and all their studies proved exactly what we were able to prove this past week. That the power grid is more resilient, more stable and stronger than its ever been,” he said.
In a rally a Sunset Station, east of downtown, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke began speaking to a crowd moments after Abbott wrapped up his remarks miles away.
“This governor is not making this state better for business,” O’Rourke said.
O’Rourke slammed Abbott for not doing enough to require winterization of the state’s power sources.
“You’re own utility right here, CPS Energy, has already had to jack the rates on every utility payer in this city,” he said. “You are literally paying the Abbott tax.”
Abbott touted 14 laws he signed in the aftermath of that unforgettable winter blast.
“During Winter Storm Uri, there were less than 100 natural gas facilities designated as critical infrastructure. Now there are more than 2,900,” Abbott said. “What Beto has said is that he has policies that are extremely hostile to the oil and gas sector as we know it today.”
O’Rourke said, if elected governor, he would connect Texas to the national grid. His rally also went beyond power failures to other policies with plenty of sparks.
“If you are driving out women because you don’t trust them to make their own decisions about their own bodies and you’ve placed a $10,000 bounty on the back of anyone who seeks to help anybody else make their own reproductive healthcare decisions, that’s not good for business,” he said.
Abbott and O’Rourke must win their March primary contests before moving on to the general election.
Early voting for the March primary starts Monday, Feb. 14.