Texas governor slated for second trip to San Angelo

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SAN ANGELO, Texas (Concho Valley Homepage) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is scheduled to come to San Angelo again on Feb. 23, just two weeks after coming to town to endorse state representative candidate Stormy Bradley.

In an announcement made on Bradley’s Facebook page, she stated that Abbott will be coming back to San Angelo for a rally at the Angry Cactus, located at 1 W. Concho Ave., to encourage voters to get out and vote for the March 5 Texas primary election. Early voting for the election begins Tuesday, Feb. 20, for residents and will last until March 1.

“It is my honor to invite y’all out to the Angry Cactus West Texas Bar and Grill to host the best Governor in America for a get-out-the-vote rally in support of our West Texas movement,” Bradley said in the announcement.

Where can I vote early for the March primary election?

Abbott previously came to San Angelo on Friday, Feb. 9, to formally endorse Bradley as a candidate for the Texas House District 72 seat. Meeting in the Old Central Firehouse Pizzeria and Taproom, Abbott touched on many of the hot-button topics his administration has faced while supporting Bradley and condemning incumbent candidate Rep. Drew Darby.

Gov. Abbott visits San Angelo, advocates for Darby rival

Though a considerable turnout was documented by reporters at the scene, the event was attended by more than just people in favor of Abbott and Bradley: several protestors gathered outside of the restaurant to oppose Abbott’s push to oust Darby and show support for the incumbent representative.

Protestors rally for Rep. Darby during Abbott, Bradley remarks

Central to the protestors’ support of Darby — and a driving force behind Abbott’s advocacy for Bradley — is the current representative’s stance on Abbott’s proposed school voucher system. Abbott would spend approximately 18 months campaigning for the introduction of the system, which would use public funding to offer Texan students the opportunity to attend a private school should they choose to.

Protesters with Teachers for Darby stand together on Twohig Aveune waiting Gov. Greg Abbott's arrival to Central Firehouse Pizzeria in downtown San Angelo.
Protesters with Teachers for Darby and Boot Vouchers stand together on Twohig Avenue, waiting for Gov. Greg Abbott’s arrival at Central Firehouse Pizzeria in downtown San Angelo.

Part of a greater education omnibus bill called “House Bill 1,” the voucher system would become a mainstay of Abbott’s political interests throughout 2023. However, as evidenced through his encounters with other news outlets across the nation, Darby took issue with the voucher system’s use of taxpayer dollars to fund the switch to private schools.

Darby would join 20 other Republican holdouts that voted in favor of an amendment that removed Abbott’s school voucher system from House Bill 1, an 84-63 vote that would put a hold on the governor’s efforts.

Darby and the 20 holdouts have since faced intense scrutiny from Abbott and his political backers in recent months, with advertisements targeting the representatives and supporting rival candidates frequenting the mailboxes and TVs of Texans across the state.

Bradley is Abbott’s officially endorsed candidate this election season, meaning that she’ll have to stir voters toward her cause if she hopes to oust Darby from his role. She appears to be confident in her political stance going into the early voting period, though.

“It’s clear who the real conservative in this race is,” Bradley said in the announcement. “Governor Abbott knows I’ll be in his corner as he battles the feds to secure our border.”

Whether Bradley or Darby comes out on top is something only the voters can decide. Regardless of this, though, one thing seems abundantly clear — it’ll be a hard-fought battle for all parties involved.

Abbott’s Feb. 23 rally will start at 12:30 p.m. Visit the rally’s webpage to reserve ahead of time.

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