Labor Day marked the unofficial kickoff for the fall campaign in the race for Texas governor.
Both candidates, incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott and former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, attended events in North Texas on Monday.
As exciting as the race for U.S. Senate is across the state, the campaign for governor has taken a back seat and produced little interest. The big reason: every poll shows Republican Abbott up double-digits in the race and Valdez, the Democratic candidate, doesn’t have the funds to fight back against the popular incumbent.
“Are you all ready to make sure we continue to keep Republicans running statewide undefeated now for 24 years in the state of Texas?” Abbott asked supporters at a Collin County GOP event.
Both appealed to core party values when they spoke on Monday.
“It is great to meet people who believe in God almighty and who would never take a knee during our national anthem,” Abbott said.
Valdez emphasized a multicultural approach to her campaign.
“We find the Texas heart all over again. It’s all in here, different sizes, different ethnic groups, different religious backgrounds -- this is where the Texas heart is coming back to and we need to bring that back,” Valdez said.
Valdez was the keynote speaker at the AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast in Dallas and served up some red meat.
“Texans know when it’s time for a change and in 2018 its time for a change,” Valdez said.
Both agree on how the race for governor will be won.
“This election is not going to be bought. This election is going to be fought block by block, door by door, neighborhood by neighborhood. We're going to fight to get this election back where it needs to be,” Valdez said.
Abbott implored Republicans to show up in the fall.
“Your fight does not require bullets, your fight requires ballots. We need you to get the vote out to make sure that we keep Collin County red, to make sure that we keep Texas red,” Abbott said.
The two candidates have agreed to one debate this fall, on Friday, Sept. 28 in Austin.