By Linda Vega
“This is your house,” stated Gov. Abbott at the commencement of his speech to those attending his inauguration on January 20, 2014. A statement that was graciously received by all attendees because it was the truth. Gov. Abbott reminded us that what has made Texas the beacon of success are the people of Texas and their resilience coupled with their positive outlook for the future.
Gov. Abbott has become is a familiar face in Texas politics among all groups—ethnicity–race, gender, and age. He has shown us all that his vision for Texas is one as big as his heart. This is why the majority of Texans supported him, and why he started his speech by thanking them and reminding us all that indeed that law making edifice is “our house.”
Despite the fact that he travels in a wheelchair because of an injury sustained when he was younger, you would never know because he is full of energy and such a positive outlook.
Governor Abbott is committed civil service, and when he takes on a cause he understands that the outcome will affect those 26 million residents of the state of Texas. The Governor understands that the future of Texas depends on the new population growth which must be educated. It is undeniably that the level education we instill in our children will be a factor on how successful we are to maintain our competitive edge as a state and the new Governor is well aware of it. Education is so important for him that he made it one of his main themes when he was running for Governor.
His commitment to the Latino community is genuine and may be because of his wife, Cecilia Abbott, our first Latina first lady and an educator. She is, undoubtedly, someone who has first hand knowledge of how the school system in Texas has managed to graduate Latinos at a higher level than any other state in the U.S. But she is also someone who understands that even if Latinos are graduating young people, we may not be graduating them with the necessary college-ready skills to succeed in a community college or a university. So I am confident that Cecilia Abbott will be a great influence in the Governor’s decisions as he works to improve public education so that all young Texans can have an equal opportunity to the American Dream and the Texas Dream.
Governor Abbott received 44% percent of the Latino Vote, more than Gov. Perry who won 38% of the same vote. Abbott proudly and tirelessly roamed South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) more than any other Republican candidate in Texas history. It is clear that he wants to make the RGV his home, and he wants all Latinos from South Texas, regardless of party affiliation, to know that Governor’s mansion (where he will reside) is their “house,” as well.
Latinos see a great leader for the state. In return, the Governor understands that the success for Texas lies in the heart of the people, especially the Latino people. Abbott will be one of the strongest governors Texas has ever witnessed because he is an inclusive politician who envisions a strong Texas for all us, not only for one party. We are fortunate to be the benefactors of such a time in history, and we are fortunate to have a Governor like Abbott leading Texas.
Linda Vega is The Founder of Latinos Ready to Vote and a former Candidate for the U.S. Senate from Texas. You can read more on her campaign website Lindavegafortexas.net