Greg Abbott

Last updated

Greg Abbott
Greg Abbott 2015.jpg
48th Governor of Texas
Assumed office
January 20, 2015
Lieutenant Dan Patrick
Preceded by Rick Perry
50th Attorney General of Texas
In office
December 2, 2002 January 5, 2015
GovernorRick Perry
Preceded by John Cornyn
Succeeded by Ken Paxton
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas
In office
January 2, 1996 June 6, 2001 [1]
Preceded by Jack Hightower
Succeeded by Xavier Rodriguez
Personal details
Born
Gregory Wayne Abbott

(1957-11-13) November 13, 1957 (age 61)
Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s)
Cecilia Phalen(m. 1981)
Children1
Residence Texas Governor's Mansion
Education University of Texas at Austin (BBA)
Vanderbilt University (JD)
Signature Greg Abbott Signature.svg
Website Government website

Gregory Wayne Abbott (born November 13, 1957) is an American lawyer and politician who has served as the 48th Governor of Texas since January 2015. A Republican, Abbott previously served as the 50th Attorney General of Texas from 2002 to 2015. He is the first governor of any U.S. state since George Wallace to permanently use a wheelchair. [2]

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Texas Attorney General attorney general for the U.S. state of Texas

The Texas Attorney General is the chief legal officer of the State of Texas. The current Attorney General Ken Paxton has served in this position since January 5, 2015.

George Wallace 45th Governor of Alabama

George Corley Wallace Jr. was the 45th Governor of Alabama, a position he occupied for four terms, during which he promoted "low-grade industrial development, low taxes, and trade schools." He sought the United States presidency as a Democrat three times, and once as an American Independent Party candidate, unsuccessfully each time. He is best remembered for his staunch segregationist and populist views. Wallace was known as "the most dangerous racist in America" and notoriously opposed desegregation and supported the policies of "Jim Crow" during the Civil Rights Movement, declaring in his 1963 inaugural address that he stood for "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever."

Contents

Abbott was the second Republican to serve as Attorney General of Texas since Reconstruction. Prior to assuming the office of attorney general, he was a justice of the Texas Supreme Court, a position to which he was initially appointed in 1995 by then-Governor George W. Bush. He is noted outside of Texas for successfully advocating for the right of the state of Texas to display the Ten Commandments in front of the Texas State Capitol in Austin, in a 2005 United States Supreme Court case known as Van Orden v. Perry.

Reconstruction era Era of military occupation in the Southern United States after the American Civil War (1865–1877)

The Reconstruction era was the period from 1863 to 1877 in American history. It was a significant chapter in the history of American civil rights.

Supreme Court of Texas the highest court in the U.S. state of Texas

The Supreme Court of Texas ("SCOTX") is the court of last resort for civil appeals in the U.S. state of Texas. A different court, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, is the court of last resort for criminal matters.

George W. Bush 43rd president of the United States

George Walker Bush is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd president of the United States from 2001 to 2009. He had previously served as the 46th governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000.

Early life, education, and early law career

Abbott was born on November 13, 1957, in Wichita Falls, of English descent. His mother, Doris Lechristia Jacks Abbott, was a homemaker, and his father, Calvin Roger Abbott, was a stockbroker and insurance agent. [3] [4] When he was six years old, they moved to Longview, and the family lived in the East Texas city for six years. [3]

Wichita Falls, Texas City in Texas, United States

Wichita Falls is a city in and the county seat of Wichita County, Texas, United States. It is the principal city of the Wichita Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Archer, Clay, and Wichita Counties. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 104,553, making it the 38th-most populous city in Texas. In addition, its central business district is 5 miles (8 km) from Sheppard Air Force Base, which is home to the Air Force's largest technical training wing and the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program, the world's only multinationally staffed and managed flying training program chartered to produce combat pilots for both USAF and NATO.

Longview, Texas City in Texas, United States

Longview is the forty-fifth largest city in the state of Texas. The city is mostly located in Gregg County, of which it is the county seat; a small part of Longview extends into the western part of neighboring Harrison County. Longview is located in East Texas, where Interstate 20 and U.S. Highways 80 and 259 converge just north of the Sabine River. According to the 2010 U.S. census, the city had a population of 80,455. The estimated population in 2017 was 81,522. Longview is the principal city of the Longview metropolitan statistical area, comprising Gregg, Upshur, and Rusk counties. The population of the metropolitan area as of 2017 census estimates is 217,481.

East Texas cultural, geographic and ecological area in the US federated state of Texas

East Texas is a distinct cultural, geographic, and ecological area in the U.S. state of Texas.

At the beginning of junior high school, Abbott's family moved to Duncanville. In his sophomore year in high school, his father died of a heart attack, and his mother went to work in a real estate office. [3] He graduated from Duncanville High School. [5] He was on the track team in high school and asserts that he won every meet he entered his senior year. [6] He was in the National Honor Society and was voted "Most Likely to Succeed." [6]

Duncanville, Texas City in Texas, United States

Duncanville is a city in southern Dallas County, Texas, in the United States. Duncanville's population was 38,524 at the 2010 census. The city is part of the Best Southwest area, which includes Duncanville, Cedar Hill, DeSoto, and Lancaster.

Myocardial infarction Interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart

Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to a part of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle. The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Often it occurs in the center or left side of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes. The discomfort may occasionally feel like heartburn. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, feeling faint, a cold sweat, or feeling tired. About 30% of people have atypical symptoms. Women more often present without chest pain and instead have neck pain, arm pain, or feel tired. Among those over 75 years old, about 5% have had an MI with little or no history of symptoms. An MI may cause heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, cardiogenic shock, or cardiac arrest.

Duncanville High School

Duncanville High School is a secondary school located in Duncanville, Texas, United States. The school is a part of Duncanville Independent School District.

In 1981, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and the Young Republicans Club. He met his wife, Cecilia Phelan, while attending UT Austin. [3] In 1984, he earned his J.D. degree from the Vanderbilt University Law School in Nashville, Tennessee. [3]

The Bachelor of Business Administration is a bachelor's degree in commerce and business administration.

University of Texas at Austin public research university in Austin, Texas, United States

The University of Texas at Austin is a public research university in Austin, Texas. It was founded in 1883 and is the flagship institution of the University of Texas System. The University of Texas was inducted into the Association of American Universities in 1929, becoming only the third university in the American South to be elected. The institution has the nation's eighth-largest single-campus enrollment, with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculty and staff.

Delta Tau Delta North American collegiate fraternity

Delta Tau Delta (ΔΤΔ), commonly known as Delt or DTD, is a United States-based international Greek letter college fraternity. Delta Tau Delta was founded in 1858 at Bethany College, Bethany, Virginia,. It currently has around 140 student chapters nationwide, as well as few regional alumni groups. Its national philanthropic partner is the diabetes research organization JDRF.

On July 14, 1984, at age 26, Abbott was paralyzed below waist-level when an oak tree fell on him while he was jogging following a storm. [7] [8] He had two steel rods implanted in his spine, underwent extensive rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston, and has used a wheelchair ever since. [9] [10] He sued the homeowner and negotiated an insurance settlement worth more than US$10 million dollars, resulting in payouts of US$14,000 a month. [11]

TIRR Memorial Hermann is a 134-bed rehabilitation hospital, rehabilitation and research center, outpatient medical clinic and network of outpatient rehabilitation centers in Houston, Texas that offers physical rehabilitation to patients following traumatic brain or spinal injury or to those suffering from neurologic illnesses. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report named TIRR Memorial Hermann to the list of America’s Best Hospitals for the 25th consecutive time.

Wheelchair chair with wheels, used by people for whom walking is difficult or impossible due to illness, injury, or disability

A wheelchair is a chair with wheels, used when walking is difficult or impossible due to illness, injury, or disability. Wheelchairs come in a wide variety of formats to meet the specific needs of their users. They may include specialized seating adaptions, individualized controls, and may be specific to particular activities, as seen with sports wheelchairs and beach wheelchairs. The most widely recognised distinction is between powered wheelchairs ("powerchairs"), where propulsion is provided by batteries and electric motors, and manually propelled wheelchairs, where the propulsive force is provided either by the wheelchair user/occupant pushing the wheelchair by hand ("self-propelled"), or by an attendant pushing from the rear.

Abbott went into private practice, working for Butler and Binion, LLC between 1984 and 1992. [7]

Judicial career

Abbott's judicial career began in Houston, where he served as a state trial judge in the 129th District Court for three years. [7] Then-Governor George W. Bush appointed Abbott to the Texas Supreme Court, and he was then twice elected to the state's highest civil court — in 1996 (two-year term) and in 1998 (six-year term). In 1996, Abbott had no Democratic opponent but was challenged by Libertarian John B. Hawley of Dallas. Abbott defeated Hawley by a margin of 84% to 16%. [12] In 1998, Abbott defeated Democrat David Van Os by 60% to 40%. [13]

In 2001, after resigning from the Supreme Court, Abbott went back to private practice and worked for Bracewell & Giuliani LLC. [14] He was also an adjunct professor at University of Texas School of Law. [15]

Attorney General of Texas

Greg Abbott talks about the Harriet Miers nomination with President George W. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Justices in 2005. From left: Eugene Cook, Raul Gonzalez, Abbott, John Hill, James Baker, Bush, and Craig Enoch President George W. Bush Discusses Harriet Miers Nomination with Former Texas Supreme Court Justices.jpg
Greg Abbott talks about the Harriet Miers nomination with President George W. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Justices in 2005. From left: Eugene Cook, Raul Gonzalez, Abbott, John Hill, James Baker, Bush, and Craig Enoch

2002 election

Abbott resigned from the Texas Supreme Court in 2001 to seek the position of Lieutenant Governor of Texas. [3] His campaign for Lieutenant Governor had been running for several months when the previous attorney general, John Cornyn, vacated the post to run for the U.S. Senate. [3] He then switched his campaign to the open attorney general's position in 2002. Abbott defeated the Democratic nominee, former Austin Mayor and current State Senator Kirk Watson, 57% to 41%. [16] Abbott was sworn in on December 2, 2002, following fellow Republican Cornyn's election to the Senate.

Tenure

Abbott expanded the Attorney General's office's law enforcement division from about thirty people to more than one hundred. [3] He also created a new division called the Fugitive Unit to track down convicted sex offenders in violation of their paroles or probations. [3]

In 2003, Abbott supported the Texas Legislature's move to cap non-economic damages for medical malpractice cases at $250,000, with no built-in increases for rising cost of living. [17] The statue allows nuances for higher awards in cases of wrongful death or when more than one health care institution is involved. [17]

Abbott has spoken out against concerns such as voter fraud, the right to bear arms, and President Barack Obama's health care reform. When asked what his job entails, Abbott says: "I go into the office in the morning, I sue Barack Obama, and then I go home." [18] Abbott has filed suit against various U.S. agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services (including challenges to Obamacare), and the Department of Education, among many others. [3]

Abbott filed thirty one lawsuits against the Obama administration. [19] According to The Wall Street Journal , from Abbott's tenure as Attorney General through his first term as Governor, Texas sued the Obama administration at least forty four times, more than any other state over the same period; court challenges included carbon-emission standards, health-care reform, transgender rights, and others. [20] The Dallas Morning News compared Abbott to Scott Pruitt, noting that both Attorneys General had repeatedly sued the federal government over its environmental regulations. [21] The Houston Chronicle noted that Abbott "led the charge against Obama-era climate regulations." [22]

Abbott has said that the state must not release Tier II Chemical Inventory Reports for security reasons, but that Texans "can ask every facility whether or not they have chemicals or not." [23] Koch Industries has denied that their contributions to Abbott's campaign had anything to do with his ruling against releasing the safety information. [24]

In February 2014, Abbott argued against a lawsuit brought by the National Rifle Association to allow more people access to concealed carry of firearms, as Abbott felt this would disrupt public safety. [25]

In March 2014, Abbott filed a motion to intervene with three separate Federal Court suits against Baylor Scott & White Medical Center - Plano, in which patients alleged that the hospital allowed Dr. Christopher Duntsch to perform neurosurgery despite knowing that he was a dangerous physician. [26] Abbott cited the Texas Legislature's cap on malpractice cases, along with the statute's removal of the term "gross negligence" from the definition of legal malice, as reasons for defending Baylor. [27]

Lawsuit against Sony BMG

On November 21, 2005, Abbott sued Sony BMG. [28] [29] Texas was the first state in the nation to bring legal action against Sony BMG for illegal spyware. [28] [29] The suit is also the first filed under the state's spyware law of 2005. [28] [29] It alleges the company surreptitiously installed the spyware on millions of compact music discs (CDs) that consumers inserted into their computers when they played the CDs, which can compromise the systems. [29] [30] On December 21, 2005, Abbott added new allegations to his lawsuit against Sony-BMG. Abbott says the MediaMax copy protection technology violates the state's spyware and deceptive trade practices laws. [28] [31] He says Sony-BMG offered consumers a licensing agreement when they bought CDs and played them on their computers. [28] [31] However, Abbott alleges in the lawsuit that even if consumers reject that agreement, spyware is secretly installed on their computers, posing security risks for music buyers. [28] [31] Abbott said, "We keep discovering additional methods Sony used to deceive Texas consumers who thought they were simply buying music," and "[T]housands of Texans are now potential victims of this deceptive game Sony played with consumers for its own purposes." [28] [31] In addition to violations of the Consumer Protection Against Computer Spyware Act of 2005, which allows for civil penalties of $100,000 for each violation of the law, the alleged violations added in the updated lawsuit, on December 21, 2005, carry maximum penalties of $20,000 per violation. [31] [32]

Van Orden v. Perry

On March 2, 2005, Abbott appeared before the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., where he defended a Ten Commandments monument on grounds of the Texas State Capitol. Dozens of similar monuments were donated to cities and towns across the nation throughout the 1960s by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, who were inspired by the 1956 epic The Ten Commandments; in doing so, they gained the support of the film's director Cecil B. DeMille. [33] The Supreme Court held in a 5–4 decision that the Texas display did not violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause and was constitutional.

After Abbott's oral arguments in Van Orden v. Perry, Justice John Paul Stevens commented upon Abbott's performance while in a wheelchair, "I want to thank you [...] for demonstrating that it's not necessary to stand at the lectern in order to do a fine job." [6]

2006 election

In the November 7, 2006, general election, Abbott was challenged by civil rights attorney David Van Os, who had been his Democratic opponent in the 1998 election for state Supreme Court. He won re-election to a second term by a margin of 60% to 37%. [34]

2010 election

Abbott ran for a third term in 2010. He defeated the Democratic attorney Barbara Ann Radnofsky of Houston and the Libertarian Jon Roland once again. Radnofsky was also the unsuccessful Democratic candidate opposing U. S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2006 general election. Abbott defeated Radnofsky by a margin of 64% to 34%. [35] He was the longest-serving Texas attorney general in Texas history. [36]

In July 2013, the Houston Chronicle alleged improper ties and oversight between many of Abbott's largest donors and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, of which he was a director. [37]

Governor of Texas

2014 election

Abbott speaking at FreePac in Phoenix, 2012 Greg Abbott by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Abbott speaking at FreePac in Phoenix, 2012

On July 8, 2013, Governor Rick Perry announced that he would not seek a fourth full term. [38]

On July 14, 2013, speaking near the Alamo on the 29th anniversary of the accident that left him a paraplegic, Abbott formally announced his intention to run for Governor of Texas in the 2014 Texas gubernatorial election. [39] In the first six months of 2011, he raised more funds for his campaign than any other Texas politician, reaching $1.6 million. The next highest fundraiser among state officeholders was Texas Comptroller Susan Combs with $611,700. [40]

In February 2014, while speaking on the dangers of corruption in law enforcement, Abbott compared the South Texas area to a Third World country [41] that "erodes the social fabric of our communities and destroys Texans' trust and confidence in government." [42] Abbott further said that he does not consider corruption "limited to one region of Texas [...] My plan is to add more resources to eliminate corruption so people can have confidence in their government." [42]

Abbott criticized Ted Nugent's infamous "subhuman mongrel" comment directed at President Barack Obama by saying "This is not the kind of language I would use or endorse in any way. It's time to move beyond this, and I will continue to focus on the issues that matter to Texans." [43]

Abbott won the Republican primary on March 4, 2014, with 1,219,903, or 91.5% of the ballots cast. The remaining approximately 103,000 votes were divided among three minor candidates. He faced state Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, who polled 432,065 votes (79.1%) in her Democratic primary contest against a lone opponent. [44]

Abbott promised to "tie outcomes to funding" for pre-K programs if elected governor, [45] but he said he would not require government standardized testing for 4-year olds, as Davis has accused him of advancing. [46] When defending his education plan, Abbott cited Charles Murray: "Family background has the most decisive effect on student achievement, contributing to a large performance gap between children from economically disadvantaged families and those from middle class homes." [47] A spokesman for Abbott's campaign pointed out that the biggest difference in spending is that Davis has proposed universal pre-K education while Abbott wants to limit state funding to only programs that meet certain standards. [47] Davis' plan could reach 750 million in costs and Abbott has said that Davis' plan is a "budget buster" whereas Abbott's education plan would cost no more than 118 million. [47] Overall, Abbott said the reforms that he envisioned would "level the playing field for all students [and] target schools which don't have access to the best resources." He has called for increased accessibility to technology in the classroom and mathematics instruction for kindergarten pupils. [42]

Abbott received 1.4 million in campaign contributions from recipients of the Texas Enterprise Fund, some of whose members submitted the proper paperwork for grants. [48] Elliot Nagin of the Union of Concerned Scientists observed that Abbott was the recipient of large support from the fossil fuels industries, such as NuStar Energy, Koch Industries, Valero Energy, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips. [49] Abbott received the endorsement of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram , [50] Dallas Morning News, [51] the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal [52] and the Tyler Morning Telegraph . [53]

Abbott defeated Davis by about 19 percentage points in the November general election. [54] [55] [56] [57]

2018 election

In January 2017, Abbott was reportedly raising funds for a 2018 re-election bid as governor; as of December 2016, he had $34.4 million on hand for his campaign, of which he raised $9 million during the second half of 2016. [58] [59] Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick had been mentioned as a potential challenger for governor but confirmed he would run for a second term as lieutenant governor. [59] During the weekend of January 21, 2017, Abbott stated he was intending on running for re-election. [60] He confirmed this on March 28, 2017. [61]

Abbott formally announced his re-election campaign on July 14, 2017. [62] He chose the Amtrak depot at historic Sunset Station in San Antonio for his formal announcement of candidacy: "I've proven that I'm willing to take on the liberals, I'm willing to take on Washington, D.C., and I'm counting on you to have my back." Several protesters were led out of the hall before Abbott began speaking. [63] The formal announcement came four days before the beginning of a special legislative session that could split the Republican Party into factions favoring Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Patrick, on one hand, and House Speaker Joe Straus, a Moderate Republican who opposes much of the Abbott-Patrick social conservative agenda.

In the November 6 general election, Abbott defeated Democratic nominee Lupe Valdez with about 56% of the vote. [64] [65] [66] [67] Abbott received 42% of the Hispanic vote. [68]

Tenure

Abbott speaking at the 2016 World Travel and Tourism Council conference Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas (26279225765).jpg
Abbott speaking at the 2016 World Travel and Tourism Council conference

Abbott was sworn in as the governor of Texas on January 20, 2015. [69] [70]

Abbott declared February 2, 2015, as "Chris Kyle Day" in honor of the United States Navy SEAL who was the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history portrayed in the successful film American Sniper . [71] [72] [73] This came exactly two years after Kyle was shot and killed. [71] Abbott held his first meeting as governor with a foreign prime minister when he met with the Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny on March 15, 2015, to discuss trade and economic relations. [74]

During the 2015 legislative session, initiated by officials at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the Texas Legislature placed a rider in the Texas budget to cut $150 million from its budget by ending payments and coverage for various developmental therapies for children on Medicaid. A lawsuit has been filed against the state on behalf of affected families and therapy providers, claiming it can cause irreparable damage to the affected children's development. [75] The litigation obtained a temporary injunction order on September 25, 2015, barring THHSC from implementing therapy rate cuts. [76]

Unlike his two immediate predecessors Bush and Perry, Abbott has said he has no intention of running for U.S. President. [77] The Trump Administration appointed several former appointees of Abbott to federal court positions, something some media outlets attributed to Abbott's influence on the administration. [78]

His 2016 book, Broken But Unbowed is a reflection on his personal story and views on politics. [79]

In October 2016, explosive packages were mailed to Abbott, President Obama, and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration. The governor's package did not explode when he opened it as he opened the package incorrectly. [80]

On June 6, 2017, Abbott called for a special legislative session in order to pass several legislative priorities for Abbott, [81] [82] something supported by Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. [83] Abbott vetoed 50 bills in the regular 2017 session, the most vetoed in a session since 2007. [84] [85]

Abortion

In late November 2016, the State of Texas, at Abbott's request, approved new rules that require facilities that perform abortions either to bury or cremate the aborted, rather than dispose of the remains in a sanitary landfill. [86] [87] The rules were intended to go into effect on December 19, [86] but on December 15 a federal judge blocked the rules from going into effect for at least one month after the Center for Reproductive Rights and other advocacy groups filed a lawsuit. [88] On January 27, 2017, a federal judge ruled against the law, but the State of Texas vowed to appeal the ruling. [89]

On June 6, 2017, Abbott signed a bill into law banning dismemberment and partial-birth abortions and requiring either the cremation or burial of the aborted. [90] [91] [92] The law was also blocked by a federal judge; the state said it would appeal. [93] [94]

Convention of States proposal

Governor Abbott with President Donald Trump during Hurricane Harvey emergency Hurricane Harvey Response (36806293711).jpg
Governor Abbott with President Donald Trump during Hurricane Harvey emergency

On January 8, 2016, Abbott called for a national constitutional convention to address what he sees as abuses by justices of the United States Supreme Court in "abandoning the Constitution." [95] Abbott proposed passing nine new amendments to the Constitution, intended to limit the power of the federal government and expand states' rights. [96] Speaking to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Abbott said, "We the people have to take the lead to restore the rule of law in the United States." [97]

In 2016 Abbott spoke to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, calling for a Convention of States to amend the U.S. Constitution. In his speech, he released a plan that includes nine proposed amendments to "unravel the federal government's decades-long power grab "to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government and limit the federal government's power and jurisdiction." [98] Abbott elaborated on his proposal in a public seminar at the Hoover Institute on May 17, 2016. [99]

Gun laws

On June 13, 2015, Abbott signed the campus carry (SB 11) and the open carry (HB 910) bills into law. [100] The campus carry law went into effect on August 1, 2015 and allows the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun on public college campuses, with private colleges being able to opt out. [100] [101] The open carry bill went into effect on January 1, 2016 and allows the licensed carrying of handguns openly in all locations that allow concealed carry. [100] [101] [102] Texas is the 45th state to have open carry. [103]

On May 26, 2017, Abbott signed a bill into law lowering handgun carry license fees. [104]

After the Santa Fe High School shooting on May 18, 2018, Abbott said that he would begin working with state lawmakers and communities across Texas on proposals to prevent gun violence in schools. [105]

Jade Helm 15

Abbott on April 28, 2015, asked the State Guard to monitor the training exercise Jade Helm 15 amid Internet-fueled suspicions that the war simulation was really a hostile military takeover. [106] [107] [108] [109] In 2018 former director of the CIA and NSA Michael Hayden said that the conspiracy theory had been propagated by Russian intelligence organizations and that Gov. Abbott’s response convinced them of the power such a misinformation campaign could have in the United States. [110]

On June 11, 2015, Abbott signed the "Pastor Protection Act," which allows pastors to refuse to marry couples if they feel doing so violates their beliefs. [111]

On May 21, 2017, Abbott signed Senate Bill 24 into law, preventing state or local governments from subpoenaing pastors' sermons. [112] [113] This bill was inspired by an anti-discrimination ordinance in Houston, where hundreds of sermons from five pastors were subpoenaed. [112]

On June 15, 2017, Abbott signed House Bill 3859 which allows faith-based groups working with the Texas child welfare system to deny services "under circumstances that conflict with the provider's sincerely held religious beliefs." Democrats and civil rights advocates said the adoption bill could allow such groups to discriminate against those who practice a different religion or who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, and LGBT rights groups said they would challenge the bill in court. [114] [115] In response, California added Texas to a list of states in which it banned official government travel. [116]

Sanctuary cities

Abbott speaks at the Texas gubernatorial debate at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2018 Greg Abbott 2018.jpg
Abbott speaks at the Texas gubernatorial debate at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2018

On February 1, 2017, Abbott blocked funding to Travis County, Texas, due to its recently implemented sanctuary city policy. [117] [118] On May 7, 2017, Abbott signed Texas Senate Bill 4 into law, targeting sanctuary cities by charging county or city officials who refuse to work with federal officials and by allowing police officers to check the immigration status of those they detain if they choose. [119] [120]

Environmental issues

Abbott believes that Earth's climate is changing, but he thinks that further study is necessary to determine human role in such changes. [121] [122]

In early 2014, Abbott participated in strategy sessions held at the headquarters of the United States Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D. C. devising a legal strategy for dismantling climate change regulations. [123]

In 2016, Abbott supported the appointment of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), noting "He and I teamed up on many lawsuits against the EPA." [124]

Other issues

In a letter dated May 27, 2017, the CEOs of 14 large technology companies, including Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, urged Abbott not to pass discriminatory legislation. [125] At issue was the so-called "bathroom bill," which would require transgender people to use the bathroom of the sex listed on their birth certificates, not the one of their choice. The bill was revived by Abbott and supported by Republican lieutenant governor Dan Patrick. [126] In March 2018, Byron Cook, the chairman of the House State Affairs committee who blocked the bill, claimed that Abbott privately opposed the bill. [127] The bill was never signed; Abbott later stated that "it's [bill] not on my agenda", in a debate with Lupe Valdez, the Democratic candidate for governor in 2018. [128]

On June 6, 2017, Abbott signed a bill into law enacting a statewide ban on texting while driving. [129]

Election history

On November 4, 2014, Abbott defeated Wendy Davis by 21 points. According to exit polls he received 44 percent of the Hispanic vote and 50 percent of Hispanic men, a majority (54 percent) of women voters, and 62 percent of the votes of married women (75% of women in Texas are married). [130] [131] [132]

A week after his election, Abbott announced that Carlos Cascos, of Brownsville, the county judge since 2007 of Cameron County in far South Texas, will become the Secretary of State of Texas. In the same election in which Abbott defeated Wendy Davis, Cascos, a Republican, won a third term as county judge but resigned in January 2015 upon confirmation by the Texas Senate, to become secretary of state. [133]

Personal life

Abbott, a Roman Catholic, is married to Mexican-American Cecilia Phalen Abbott, the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. [136] [137] [138] His election as governor of Texas makes her the first Latina to be the First Lady of Texas since Texas joined the union. [137] [139] They have one adopted daughter, Audrey. [14] [136] [137] They were married in San Antonio in 1981. [3] Cecilia is a former school teacher and principal. [7] He is the first elected governor of a U.S. state to use a wheelchair since George Wallace of Alabama, 1983–87. [140]

Abbott, who knows some Spanish but is not fluent, was learning the language as of 2013. [141] [142]

Abbott suffered second and third degree burns on his legs after coming in contact with scalding water while on vacation in Wyoming in July 2016, which caused him to miss the 2016 Republican National Convention. [143] [144]

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The Dallas County District Attorney is the elected, or appointed by the Texas Governor in the event of a vacancy, district attorney (DA) of Dallas County, Texas. Currently, this position is held by John Creuzot, a Democrat who defeated Faith Johnson, appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, after Susan Hawk resigned in 2016. The office prosecutes offenses under Texas state law classified as felonies, Class A and B misdemeanors, appeals of Class C misdemeanors, and Class C misdemeanors filed in the Justice of the Peace courts, generally by non-municipal police agencies..

Brian D. Birdwell is an American politician. A Republican, he has represented District 22 in the Texas Senate since 2010. A retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army, Birdwell is a decorated survivor of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, on September 11, 2001.

Wendy Davis (politician) American politician

Wendy Russell Davis is an American lawyer and Democratic Party politician from Fort Worth, Texas. Davis represented District 10 in the Texas Senate from 2009 to 2015. She was previously on the Fort Worth City Council. She is now a public speaker and political commentator, as well as the founder of Deeds Not Words, a non-profit for engaging young women in politics.

Ken Paxton American politician

Warren Kenneth Paxton Jr. is an American lawyer and politician who has served as the Attorney General of Texas since January 2015. Paxton is a Tea Party conservative. He previously served as Texas State Senator for the 8th district and the Texas State Representative for the 70th district.

LGBT rights in Texas

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Texas face legal and social challenges and discrimination not faced by other people. Same-sex sexual activity is legal in the state. On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled bans on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges. Texas has a hate crime statute that strengthens penalties for certain crimes motivated by a victim's sexual orientation, although it has never been invoked. Gender identity is not included in the hate crime law. There is no statewide law banning anti-LGBT discrimination. However, some localities in Texas have ordinances that provide a variety of legal protections and benefits to LGBT people.

Stefani Carter is a former member of the Texas House of Representatives from the 102nd District, which included parts of Dallas, and the northern Dallas County suburbs of Garland, and Richardson, Texas. First elected in 2010, Carter made history by becoming the first Republican African-American woman to serve in the Texas House when she unseated the Democrat Carol Kent.

2014 Texas gubernatorial election

The 2014 Texas gubernatorial election was held on November 4, 2014 to elect the Governor of Texas. Incumbent Republican Governor Rick Perry, who had served since the resignation of then-Governor George W. Bush on December 21, 2000, declined to run for an unprecedented fourth full term, making this the first open election for governor since 1990.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the U.S. state of Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015.

The 2014 general election was held in the U.S. state of Texas on November 4, 2014. All of Texas' executive officers were up for election as well as a United States Senate seat, and all of Texas' thirty-six seats in the United States House of Representatives. Primary elections were held on March 4, 2014. Primary runoffs, required if no candidate wins a majority of the vote, were held on May 27, 2014. Elections were also held for the Texas legislature and proposition 1, seeking funds for Texas highways.

2018 Texas gubernatorial election

The 2018 Texas gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 2018, to elect the Governor of Texas, concurrently with the election of Texas's Class I U.S. Senate seat, as well as other congressional, state and local elections throughout the United States and Texas. Incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott successfully won re-election to a second term in office defeating Democratic nominee Lupe Valdez, the former sheriff of Dallas County, and Libertarian nominee Mark Tippetts, a former member of the Lago Vista city council.

Cannabis in Texas

Cannabis in Texas is illegal for medical and recreational purposes, though low-THC CBD oil is allowed for the treatment of epilepsy since 2015. In 1919 cannabis was restricted to prescription-only in Texas, prohibited in 1923, and was declared a "narcotic" with potential life-sentences from 1931–1973.

The 2018 general election was held in the U.S. state of Texas on November 6, 2018. All of Texas's executive officers were up for election as well as a United States Senate seat, and all of Texas's thirty-six seats in the United States House of Representatives. The Republican and Democratic Parties nominated their candidates by primaries held March 6, 2018. Convention Parties nominated their candidates at a series of conventions. County Conventions held March 17, 2018, District Conventions held March 24, 2018, and a State Convention held April 14, 2018. At the present time there is only one Convention Party in Texas, that is the Libertarian Party. Other parties may seek to achieve ballot access.

Ina Marie Minjarez is a lawyer and a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives representing District 124 in San Antonio, Texas. She was sworn into office on April 30, 2015, after winning a special election on April 21. She served as Assistant District Attorney for Bexar County from 2000 through 2006.

Texas Senate Bill 4 is a bill that effectively bans sanctuary cities in the state of Texas. It was filed on November 15, 2016, and discussed during the regular session of the eighty-fifth Texas Legislature. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the bill into law on May 7, 2017.

References

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Further reading

Legal offices
Preceded by
Jack Hightower
Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
1995–2001
Succeeded by
Xavier Rodriguez
Preceded by
John Cornyn
Attorney General of Texas
2002–2015
Succeeded by
Ken Paxton
Party political offices
Preceded by
Rick Perry
Republican nominee for Governor of Texas
2014, 2018
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Rick Perry
Governor of Texas
2015–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Mike Pence
as Vice President
Order of Precedence of the United States
Within Texas
Succeeded by
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Succeeded by
Otherwise Nancy Pelosi
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Ron DeSantis
as Governor of Florida
Order of Precedence of the United States
Outside Texas
Succeeded by
Kim Reynolds
as Governor of Iowa