Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke makes campaign stop in Pittsburg

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 6:52 PM CDT
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PITTSBURG, Texas (KLTV) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke’s 49-day drive across Texas brought him to the Douglass Alumni Community Center in Pittsburg for a campaign stop Thursday.

“In Greg Abbott’s Texas, it’s you or me,” O’Rourke said. “In our Texas, it’s you and me. Right?”

The former El Paso congressman spoke on a number of hot-button issues like abortion, teacher pay, and guns following the shooting in Uvalde.

“Nothing has changed since then to make it less likely that they (students) or their teachers will face the same kind of threat,” O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke is calling for universal background checks, red flag laws, and raising the legal purchasing age.

“I don’t think anyone outside of a battlefield or a war zone should have an AR-15 or an AK-47,” O’Rourke said.

O'Rourke stood in a circle of supporters.
O'Rourke stood in a circle of supporters.(Blake Holland/KLTV)

Among the supporters in attendance: current and retired teachers.

“We would just like to see anybody replace Greg Abbott as governor,” said Sue Beard, retired teacher. “He’s been terrible for Texas teachers, terrible for our economy, and terrible for women’s rights.”

“The state I’ve grown up in my whole life has turned its back on me,” said Carrie Hefner, current teacher. “And, I’m looking for someone who will bring Texas back to support women.”

While the community center was full of people supporting O’Rourke, those opposed to his visit could be found outside and in the middle of town with signs calling the area “Abbott country.”

Supporters of Gov. Abbott stood in the middle of town with signs ahead of O'Rourke's visit.
Supporters of Gov. Abbott stood in the middle of town with signs ahead of O'Rourke's visit.(Blake Holland/KLTV)

“Go home and find another job,” said Russ Vocaturo, Abbott supporter.

Supporters of Abbott said they showed up to send a message to O’Rourke that he is not welcome.

“This is conservative, Republican territory,” said Melvin Dodd, Abbott supporter.

When asked about those opposed to his visit, O’Rourke said, “It’s funny, because I don’t remember the last time Greg Abbott showed up in Pittsburg and took questions from people in this community and listened to those that he’s supposed to serve. If he did, he’d hear that folks are telling me that they’re paying too much in property taxes, their electricity bills are going up, and their teachers are underpaid by $16,000 a year here in Camp County.”

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