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AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today announced that he is running for re-election as Governor of the State of Texas in 2018. Speaking in San Antonio, TX where he launched his first campaign four years ago, Governor Abbott touted the accomplishments he achieved since coming into office, including: cutting taxes, signing into law the toughest border security plan in the nation, banning sanctuary cities, providing greater protections for our law enforcement officers, and overhauling Texas’ foster care system.

Governor Abbott also laid out his vision to create a better future for Texas. The Governor said he wanted to rein in skyrocketing property taxes, reform Texas’ school finance system, combat human trafficking, boost employment opportunities for our veterans, and further grow our economy by removing government barriers.

Following today’s announcement, the Governor will travel to the Rio Grande Valley where he will kick-off a Super Saturday block walk in McAllen, TX.

Governor Abbott’s Re-election Remarks:

**Gov. Abbott often deviates from prepared remarks.

It’s great to be back in the town where I once waited tables. Where I married my wife. And where I launched my first campaign for governor that ended with a 20-point victory.

That victory, and the remarkable years that have followed, would not have been possible without your help and the support of my wonderful family.

I’m so proud of my daughter, Audrey.

When you enter my office at the Capitol, the first picture you see is Audrey when she was four.

She’s has a big smile that radiates the happiness and opportunity of youth.

That picture is a daily inspiration for me to build a better Texas. A state where every Texan has the chance to smile, to dream, to succeed.

Where children can dream of being the first in their family to attend college.

Where college students can look forward to getting a job when they graduate.

Where a waitress carrying a tray in one hand and three plates in another has a chance to one day own her own restaurant.

And where our veterans, who have fought for our freedom, can get the kind of job they deserve.

Four years ago, today, I promised you a Texas that would create jobs and promote that kind of opportunity.

I promised to cut taxes, to improve education, to build more roads, to take action to secure our border.

And with your help, we delivered on those promises.

And I also promised that my wife would be the first Hispanic First Lady in the history of Texas.

Since you elected me governor, Texas continues to chart a path of prosperity.

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That path includes more kids getting a better education than ever before.

Since I took office, more Texas students are graduating from high school and more are graduating from college.

We now have the third highest high school graduation rate in America.

Of the top 100 public high schools in America, more are located in Texas than any other state and we’ve doubled the number of tier one universities.

And we’re just getting started.

The minds that will power America’s future are being educated in Texas today.

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But it’s not just our students who are realizing new opportunities.

Four years ago I promised greater opportunity for our veterans many from here in San Antonio, and we delivered.

To help our veterans get a job or start a business, we waived occupational license requirements and we cut taxes on small businesses started by veterans.

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I also promised to keep the Texas economy an international leader.

Since I took office, Texas has added more than 450,000 new jobs. More Texans have jobs today than ever before in the history of our state.

And if Texas was its own country it would be the 10th largest economy in the world.

I also promised to cut taxes. We delivered the largest tax relief package in nearly a decade. We slashed the business franchise tax by 25 percent—a $2.5 billion tax cut.

And we cut property taxes by more than a billion dollars.

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But Texas is about more than numbers. Texas is about freedom.

I promised to expand your 2nd Amendment rights and now open carry and campus carry are the law in Texas.

I promised to protect your religious freedom, just like I defended the Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds. I defended pastors’ rights to speak freely about their faith by signing the Pastor Protection Act.

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But we all know for you to be truly free—for you to succeed at work, or at school, or as a parent—you need to feel secure.

That’s why I promised to keep our communities safe.

To fight the drug cartels and human traffickers from importing crime into Texas, I signed the toughest border security law of any state.

And we finally banned sanctuary cities in Texas. It’s irresponsible and reckless to release known criminals back onto our streets.

In Texas, we expect elected officials to enforce the rule of law. If they don’t want to enforce the law, they should step aside.

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Keeping our communities safe requires us to support our law enforcement officers on the front line.

With disturbing frequency, they have become the target of hate-filled attacks.

Just last Friday, San Antonio buried Miguel Moreno—a police officer who was gunned down in the line of duty.

It’s time to end the attack on our law enforcement officers.

It’s time for Texans to unite and support those who risk their lives keeping our communities safe.

To support and protect our law enforcement officers, Texas is now providing them rifle-proof vests and we made it a hate crime to assault a law enforcement officer simply because of the uniform they wear.

But it’s not just our peace officers we need to support.

It’s also our fire fighters and all of our first responders.

To all of them, I want you to know that you have the enduring gratitude of the people of Texas. And you have a governor who has your back.

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Keeping Texas safe includes protecting our vulnerable children who are too often stranded in the foster care system.

My number one emergency item this year was to reform a broken foster care and child protective system in Texas.

We did that.

We now have more resources and better strategies to protect our children and to ensure they find safe and loving homes.

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Two months ago, I was in Longview for the 100th Anniversary of my Boy Scout Troop.

After the festivities, as I headed to my car, a woman walked up to me.

She had tears rolling down her cheeks. She asked if she could speak with me.

She said she wanted to thank me for collecting the child support that she desperately needed.

I gave her a hug and simply said: I was just doing my job.

She said: Just keep doing your job.

That is what this is all about. It’s about doing our job.

Doing our job to elevate our child support system to be the national leader.

It’s about doing our job to overhaul our Child Protective Services to keep our children safe.

It’s about doing our job to keep our communities safe.

It’s about protecting and supporting our peace officers.

It’s about doing our job to empower entrepreneurs rather than bureaucrats.

It’s about cutting your taxes rather than letting government take more of your money.

I will not allow big government policies to lead Texas down the wrong path.

To keep Texas the greatest state in America, I’m running for re-election
as Governor of Texas.

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Some lawmakers want to raise your taxes. I’m running for governor to make sure that never happens.

Many of you are being crushed by skyrocketing property taxes. Some seniors say they are being taxed out of their homes.

I’m running for governor to cut your property taxes and to prevent government from raising them without your approval.

We know that one way to reform property taxes is to overhaul our school finance system.

And we need to end the Robin Hood program that is failing Texas schools.

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I’m running for governor to improve our schools.

One way to do that is to recruit and retain the best and brightest teachers.

The most famous mother-in-law in Texas knows that.

Mi Suegra. Mi Suegra esta aqui.

She taught in the San Antonio Independent School District for more than 20 years.

She knows that too many of our great teachers are underpaid.

I want to increase teacher pay and create a pathway for the very best teachers to earn the most in the nation.

One thing we understand about education is that not all kids are the same. A one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work.

That’s why we need to empower parents to choose the school that’s best for their child.

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I’m running to make sure our students are not only smarter, but also safer.

Three months ago, I launched an anti-gang strike force to crack down on violent crime and gangs like MS-13. It’s a joint effort with local, state, and federal law enforcement in Harris County.

In just three months, we’ve arrested more than 1,000 criminals.

I’m running for governor to expand crime crack-downs like that all across Texas.

Not everyone agrees we should be tough on crime.

Last month Nancy Pelosi came to Texas to kick off her so-called “Resistance Summer.”

She chastised my crime fighting efforts as “cowardice.”

I’ve got news for Nancy Pelosi. I’m running for re-election to make sure that San Francisco liberals like her will not be running our great state.

Our efforts to combat crime must include putting an end to human trafficking in Texas.

I’ve arrested human traffickers and put them in jail. I created a child sex trafficking task force to eliminate this horrific crime.

I’m running for governor to keep Texas a safe haven for human trafficking victims and to make it sheer hell for the criminals who harm them.

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We must also do more to protect our vulnerable unborn children.

We’ve made great strides to protect life since I became governor.

We ended the barbaric practice of selling baby body parts for profit. We increased funding for adoption services. And we banned partial birth abortions.

But more must be done to defend the culture of life in Texas.

That includes preventing cities and counties from using your tax dollars to fund abortions.

We know that every life is a gift and as governor, I will continue to protect the sanctity of life in Texas.

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Texas will be better if we protect innocent life.

Texas will be better if we improve our schools and keep our communities safe.

Texas will be better if we cut regulations and create more jobs.

Texas will be better if we show our veterans the gratitude they deserve by helping them get the jobs they need.

That is what this election is all about.

It’s about us working together. Doing our job to make Texas better. To keep Texas exceptional.

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And it’s not as easy as some say.

Liberals think they’ve found cracks in our armor.

In 2014, I won Harris County and Bexar Country. In 2016, Hillary won them both.

What happened?

George Soros for one.

He poured big money into Harris County and they won every county-wide race.

Liberals are messing with Texas.

Every far-left liberal you can think of from George Soros to Nancy Pelosi is trying to undo the Texas brand of liberty and prosperity.

But I have news for the liberals. Texas values are not up for grabs.

I’m a fighter and I know that you are too.

With your help, we’re building the largest grass roots army in Texas history right here in Bexar County and across the state.

I’m committed to preserving your Texas Liberty.

I’ve proven that I’m willing to fight Washington D.C. but I’m counting on you to have my back.

Texas is the Lone Star State for a reason. We stand apart as a model for the rest of the nation.

Our exceptionalism is rooted in our very beginning. Courageous heroes died so Texas could be free.

Since that time, Texas has charted a course that has elevated it to the premier state in the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Now I need your help to write the next chapter in our extraordinary history.

Together, we will keep Texas the most exceptional state in America.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless Texas.
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