Texas governor candidate Beto O’Rourke makes campaign stop in Nacogdoches

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Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 1:47 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 10, 2021 at 11:32 PM CST

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Robert “Beto” O’Rourke made a campaign stop in Nacogdoches Friday. The Democratic primary candidate is the likely candidate to face Republican incumbent Governor Greg Abbott in November. Deep East Texas will remain a favorite campaign stop for O’Rourke.

He was met by about 200 listeners at the noon appearance in Festival Park.

A cheering crowd, many wearing Beto swag and carrying Beto signs gathered around the pavilion. However, on every visit, it is the undecided he wants to reach.

“And when folks say, ‘You know what. I don’t know. I’ve never voted for a Democrat before. We’re living in East Texas. I cannot cross this line,’” said O’Rourke to an already knowing crowd of the region’s Republican presence.

O’Rourke advocates what he calls “common sense” issues that he wants people to talk about.

“Jobs, great schools, being able to see a doctor and to your nephew ... he also wants to legalize weed.”

A roar of laughter followed. O’Rourke responded, “And I know you can support that.”

The El Pasoan reached out to Mexican Americans, the young, and the old. The all-important African American support will include Pineland resident Danielle Arterberry.

“It’s important for me to be here to stand up for my people but also for Beto because he’s willing to do what it takes to make everything work out right,” Arterberry said.

This is O’Rourke’s fifth visit to Nacogdoches throughout three separate campaigns. It’s a region he sees as invaluable to becoming the next governor of Texas.

“Democrats have for too long have written off Deep East Texas and just assumed they can’t compete here,” O’Rourke said in an interview. “Republicans who don’t have anyone that they face on the ballot in November, they don’t have to show up either. And folks are literally going unrepresented.”

For at least an hour, O’Rourke stood for photos and conversation exchange with the hope the impression will lead to future votes from those still undecided.

This week, Governor Greg Abbott holds a commanding lead in the latest poll.

O’Rourke said today a poll can’t indicate much about a race a year away.

He says today’s noticeable turnout is the better indicator of the support he has.

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