Abbott backers cheer governor at Harlingen GOP rally

HARLINGEN — Gov. Greg Abbott returned to Harlingen on Monday drumming up support for Republican get-out-the vote efforts in the Rio Grande Valley.

“It’s only been a couple of days since I was last here,” Abbott told the crowd of about 400 supporters at Smoke: Texas BBQ and Watering Hole. “No governor has been to the RGV more than I have.”

Also in attendance with Abbott were Republicans Carlos Cascos, running for county judge, Adam Hinojosa, who is contesting the state Senate seat in District 27, and Janie Lopez, who is seeking the House seat in District 37.

Governor Greg Abbott visits Harlingen at SMOKE: Texas BBQ and Watering Hole Oct. 24, 2022, part of his Get Out The Vote stops throughout the state as early voting starts. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP)

“Give it up for Janie Lopez, your next state representative. Adam Hinojosa, your next state senator, and Carlos Cascos, your once and your next county judge,” Abbott said to raucous cheers from the crowd.

“We are going to win up and down the Valley this election year,” the governor said. “Let me tell you why. It’s going to be so easy. Because we are going to contrast what the conservative values and principles have achieved making Texas number one, versus what the radical leftist agenda would do.”

Abbott’s stop here was the final in a three-city trip Tuesday, with previous appearances in Bee Cave and San Antonio.

It also reflects the Republican Party’s aggressive outreach to Rio Grande Valley voters.

Financial support from the national Republican Party for three candidates in the Valley has been uncommonly generous this election, perhaps an indicator Republicans feel their growing appeal with Hispanic voters is worth the investment.

They are targeting Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar’s 28th District seat, where he is being challenged by Republican Cassy Garcia, the 15th District seat given up by Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, and in keeping the seat of 34th District incumbent Republican Rep. Mayra Flores, who is facing Gonzalez.

In the 15th District, Republican Monica De La Cruz is facing Democrat Michelle Vallejo.

Each of the Republican nominees raised over $1 million this summer, campaign filings show, with Garcia bringing in $1.7 million. In the 34th District, Flores outraised Gonzalez $1.6 million to $497,000.

Combined, the three GOP candidates raised $4.3 million in the last three months, while their Democratic opposition brought in $2.4 million combined.