Greg Abbott, the favorite to become the next Republican Party nominee for governor of Texas,
will stop in Midland this week.
Attorney General Abbott will appear at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Basin Burger, part of a 10-city tour of Texas, his first since announcing Sunday that he would seek the gubernatorial position. Current Gov. Rick Perry announced last week he would not seek re-election.
The only announced GOP candidate, according to the Associated Press, is former Texas Republican Party chairman Tom Pauken. No Democrat has announced a candidacy.
Those wanting to attend can go to Abbott's website -- www.gregabbott.com -- to obtain a free ticket, according to Rhonda Lacy, president of the Midland County Republican Women.
Lacy said Texas Republicans "love" Abbott for his work as attorney general, especially representing the state's interests on issues of Washington overreach.
"Republicans love him," Lacy said. "The rest of the population, once they get to know him, will see what he has done for Texas."
The main questions as Abbott comes to Midland might be the strength of the GOP ticket and whether Midland's influence will pay greater dividends down the road.
Perry's exit from the state stage has created a domino effect, which means only one of the state's highest officials could even seek re-election in 2014 -- Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who has not announced officially whether he will seek another term. It will be a dramatic turnover that the Texas GOP hasn't seen in more than a decade. That's not a worry for Lacy. She said the party has many qualified candidates for top state positions.
"We have to continue to build the Republican Party," Lacy said. "We aren't taking anyone lightly."
Jose Cuevas, a fundraiser in the region for GOP officials such as Perry, doesn't share Lacy's passion. He said he has not found anyone who has the political courage it takes to lead like George W. Bush did and that he's "out" until he sees the next wave of Republican candidates show a different mindset.
He said Texas needs to continue its push as the economy by which others are compared. He also said Republicans need to talk in a more civilized tone on issues such as immigration. Cuevas points to land commissioner candidate George P. Bush as a possible transformational figure.
"Immigration is a hot point and when (candidates) talk down or talk in an uncivilized tone, it is an attack on Hispanics," he said. " (Republicans) have a long way to go on that issue.
"I have worked my butt off, and they haven't shown me the courage like there was with President Bush."
Abbott's appearance is the first from a candidate in Midland since the end of the regular legislative session, which has received mixed reviews in the Basin. In particular, state officials received low marks for not sending more funds back to the growing and beneficial Permian Basin oil-producing region.
"We can't just put them on a pedestal," Lacy said. "They work for us, and we must hold them accountable."
(c)2013 Midland Reporter-Telegram (Midland, Texas)
Visit the Midland Reporter-Telegram (Midland, Texas) at www.mywesttexas.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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