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Governor enjoys enthusiastic Bandera welcome

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Posted: Wednesday, August 7, 2019 12:00 pm

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott blew into Bandera on Friday, Aug. 2, to thank supporters, report on recent legislative successes and to rally the local Republican base to help turn back the electoral challenge state government expects from Democrats and what he called their increasingly socialistic leadership.

“As goes Texas, so goes America,” Abbott said near the conclusion of his speech to a packed dining room at the Flying L Ranch Resort.  “And you know America is worth fighting for…We will unite, and we will keep Texas Republican.”

Abbott, who won his second term as governor last November after serving as the state’s attorney general longer than any prior attorney general had, was the first governor to travel to Bandera for an event in years, and the town responded with an exuberant show of support that sold out the fundraiser for the Bandera County Republican Party and the Republican Women of Bandera County.

A total of 188 people bought tickets to the $100-a-plate dinner and 125 of those paid $50 more apiece to attend a meet-and-greet, which included a chance to meet the governor and have their picture taken with him.

It was a celebration that showed off Bandera’s standing as the Cowboy Capital of the World with members of the Bandera Cattle Company Gunfighters welcoming visitors to the event, a performance by the Hill Country State Natural Area Junior Rangers mounted drill team, country music performed by the Almost Patsy Cline Trio, a massive cake decorated to look like a Texas flag and loud applause and cheers punctuating the governor’s comments.

“I’ve never been to a more cozy event than this,” Abbott said after convincing dozens of guests to move their chairs up closer to area where he spoke to give the event more of a family feel. “I’m with a group of real patriots here.”

He recounted many of his success during his long tenure in politics, touching on numerous conservative themes, including his persistent defense of religious liberties, his opposition to the policies of former President Barack Obama and his support of a business-friendly economy.

“Texas is the quintessential example of how and why capitalism works,” the governor told the crowd.

It has created more jobs in recent years than any other state, is routinely ranked by chief executive officers as the best state to do business in and has a gross domestic product of $1.8 trillion, more than that of Canada, Australia and even Russia.

“That makes me more powerful than Putin,” Abbot said to loud cheers.

He consistently raised the specter of the growing Democratic influence in the national government, saying Democratic policies like the Green New Deal are examples of that party’s socialistic leanings and should motivate Republicans to mobilize, sign up more supporters and maintain their dominance in places like Bandera County and other towns across the state.

Bandera County won praise for the 85 percent vote it turned out in favor of Republican candidates in the last election.  The governor said that turnout helped set a new standard for the number of Republicans voting in Texas in a mid-term election and helped deliver more votes to him than any governor in Texas ever.

But he also encouraged Republicans to stay energized and dedicated to signing up more supporters and getting them to the polls to keep Democrats, emboldened by big donations from interests outside of the state, from gaining a bigger foothold in Texas.

“Looking at this crowd here tonight, I can say we’re going to win this election in 2020,” Abbott said as the crowd roared its approval.

The night appeared to be a rousing success for organizers as guests visited happily with each other, bid up items offered in a silent auction and gave scant attention to four protestors from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who appeared for about an hour outside the ranch resort hoping to build support for PETA’s opposition to the Bandera Bacon Bash wild hog-catching event, which the organization has asked the governor to outlaw.

As one of the guests at the event said as the governor finished his talk Friday, “It makes you want to go out and vote tonight.”

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