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Texas Democrats’ response to State of the State a potential preview of 2022 gubernatorial race

BEXAR COUNTY (KTSA News) — The Texas Democratic Party’s response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s State of the State address Monday night hinted to where the party will likely try to go when it tries to unseat Abbott in the 2022 gubernatorial election.

That direction appears to be squarely at former San Antonio mayor and former HUD secretary Julian Castro.

Castro was given a headline role in the 10-minute long produced response, being the first speaker after party chairman Gilberto Hinojosa and the last one at the end, providing the overarching theme to the Democrats message — which Hinojosa put fairly bluntly and uninspiringly in the intro: “Let’s be clear.  No matter what Gov. Abbott says, we have suffered under his watch because of his actions.”

Castro’s message, more so than his fellow Democrats, was directed at Abbott himself in suggesting the state has been lax and insufficient with its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our state’s leadership under Gov. Greg Abbott has failed to adequately respond,” the former HUD secretary stated in his opening appearance.

A mix of activists, politicians like newly elected El Paso mayor Oscar Leeser, and industry/union leaders also appeared in the video raising their causes, which were primarily centered on police brutality, COVID-19, access to healthcare (more specifically, expanding Medicaid), and “eliminating racist policies”.

Castro wrapped up the Democrats’ response by stating the common refrain that “We have to believe in science and listen to experts” — a phrase intended to connect the governor’s mansion to former President Donald Trump — and by saying politicians here in Texas should be focusing on the families here in Texas, “not political games out of Washington.”

“If we get this right, we can build a stronger Texas that works for everyone,” Castro said hopefully.  “If we don’t, we’ll continue to get left behind.”

One Texas Democrat noticeably missing from the video: Beto O’Rourke.


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