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Opposing Views On How Greg Abbott Stacks Up With The Latino Community

Eileen Pace
TPR News

Winding down his ten-city tour of the state, Republican gubernatorial candidate and current Attorney General Greg Abbott said he is out to win the Hispanic vote in Texas.

Abbott ended his initial statewide campaign in Austin by saying he’s been connected to the Hispanic community for over 30 years. Abbot, whose wife is Latina, said he wants to reach out and connect the racial diversity in the state.

Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, the chairman of the Senate Hispanic Caucus, said Abbott's actions haven't helped Latino voters, especially since he backed the 2011 redistricting maps, maps that a federal court deemed discriminatory towards minorities.

"Clearly the voter I.D. bill would’ve hurt the Hispanic community, which I understand Attorney General Abbott is trying to implement on his own," Uresti said. "To say now he’s favoring the Hispanics and trying to represent the Hispanics flies in the face of what his actions are.

"Simply because you can say a few words in Spanish doesn’t mean all of sudden you care about the Hispanic community," Uresti said.

Uresti also pointed out that Abbott praised the Supreme Court decision to strike down a section of the Voting Rights Act, a section that was specifically added in 1975 to address a lack of diversity in Texas. 

But not every Hispanic Senator sees it that way. Some are praising Abbott for being a staunch Catholic and anti-abortion supporter.

"The pro-life issue might balance it out for him," said Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville.

Lucio said he believes Abbott will also have to prove he is pro-life on issues like feeding the poor and creating housing and healthcare opportunities for the working poor, issues that are very important to Hispanic voters.

If Abbott were to win the governor's office, Texas would have its first Catholic governor, and since his wife is a Latina, the state’s first Hispanic first lady.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.