The Dallas Morning News
Abbott in the GOP primary for Texas governor
While the names of two opponents will be printed on the Republican primary ballot for governor, incumbent Greg Abbott probably isn’t losing any sleep over this race.
Nor should he. Abbott is the only responsible choice.
The first-term governor has been most effective when he focuses on policy rather than politics. For example, he has shown smart leadership on the Legislature’s overhaul of the dysfunctional Child Protective Services system and education efforts on behalf of high-quality pre-K and improved teacher training.
We most often disagree with Abbott when he lets himself get blown off course by more ideologically rigid agendas, particularly that of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Abbott serves Texans best when he pushes a smart economic blueprint for the state rather than a partisan-at-all-costs strategy that leads to legislation such as the bathroom bill, sanctuary cities and voter ID.
The bathroom bill notwithstanding, Abbott has continued in the footsteps of former Gov. Rick Perry to sustain the state’s economic success and make Texas an inviting relocation spot for people and business. It’s worth noting that Amazon is still considering two cities in Texas for HQ2, even after the state’s transgender-rights controversy.
As the state’s sturdy commander in chief, Abbott compassionately managed the Hurricane Harvey disaster as it unfolded as well as supporting southeast Texas in its ongoing recovery efforts.
Abbott also has cleaned house at the Texas Juvenile Justice Department after revelations that it is failing the youth assigned to its care and, most recently, proposed tougher policies to fight human trafficking and sex-related crimes.
One troubling example of Abbott veering off course is a proposal that he’s made a cornerstone of his re-election campaign: A 2.5 percent cap on annual revenue increases for local governments.
Abbott’s plan not only involves an even more stringent cap than the Legislature considered — then scrapped — last year, but the limits also cover school districts, which increasingly rely on property taxes as the state’s spending share dips.
The property tax issue is not the only one on which we disagree with the governor, but in this primary field, he has our unflinching support.
Abbott is being challenged by two littleknown individuals: Larry Kilgore of Irving, who is identified on the ballot as Secede Kilgore in reference to his support of Texas leaving the Union, and Barbara Krueger, a retired teacher now living in Plano.
Kilgore, a perennial candidate, is a 53-year-old telecommunications consultant who says in his candidate questionnaire that he is running against Abbott because the governor “has not abolished abortion, shut down all govmit schools or ended Social Security.”
Krueger has no campaign website, nor did she respond to requests to complete a questionnaire or participate in an interview.