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Texas Matters: What Makes Greg Abbott Tick?

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David Martin Davies
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Greg Abbott is seeking his third term as the governor of Texas. Abbott has served as the 48th governor of Texas since 2015. He is a member of the Republican Party and also served as the 50th attorney general of Texas from 2002 to 2015 and as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court from 1996 to 2001.

Despite occupying statewide political for over 25 years Abbott remains an enigma to many in Texas, even to people who have worked closely with him.

Texas Monthly’s executive editor Mimi Swartz takes a look at Abbott and writes a profile about the political leader who is widely known but still in a way unknown.

Strongman Abbott?

Ruth Ben-Ghiat has also been puzzling with Gov. Greg Abbott. Ben-Ghiat is an expert on authoritarianism, dictators and how democracies fall. Her book is "Strongmen — Mussolini To The Present."

She says there are plenty of red flags that Gov. Greg Abbott is not dedicated to the ideals of democracy and the need for checks and balances. She says like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Abbott is showing strong signs of authoritarian tendencies.

Republic of Texas Standoff

Before Texas was part of the United States it was an independent nation. For almost 10 years the troubled Republic of Texas existed but barely. And there are some people who would like to restore the Republic of Texas by breaking away from the Union. An attempt to do that in 1997 in West Texas ended in bloodshed and with the leader Richard McLaren in prison where he remains today. Rachel Monroe is a contributing writer with The New Yorker and writes about the standoff.

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi