PITTSBURG, Texas (KETK) — Robert “Beto” O’Rourke stopped by Pittsburg early Thursday afternoon as part of his Drive for Texas campaign, in which he has been visiting every area of the state to rally support for the election in November.

Beto, who is currently challenging incumbent Greg Abbott for the governor’s seat, held a town hall for the citizens of Pittsburg at the Douglass Alumni Community Center, speaking on his goals for office should he be elected, as well as listening to the concerns of the people of the city and giving answers as to how he plans to solve those problems.

O’Rourke is known for being staunchly outspoken about his opposition to Gov. Abbott, very often harshly criticizing the way he has been running the Lone Star State. However, Abbott has not shied away from taking shots at O’Rourke’s campaign either.

To watch O’Rourke’s full speech, click below.

The governor has criticized O’Rourke for his support of the Biden administration’s open border policies, which he said has resulted in “thousands of fentanyl deaths.” O’Rourke has offered a plethora of criticisms to the governor, namely the power grid failures during the 2021 winter storm and the lack of action on gun violence.

During the event, the former congressman addressed a host of issues he plans to handle as governor, including:

  • Starting a toxic burn pit registry for veterans exposed to harsh chemicals during their service
  • Giving veterans more access to housing
  • Increased access to mental healthcare for veterans
  • Legalizing marijuana in Texas
  • Increasing the minimum wage in the state from $7.25/hr to $15/hr
  • Increasing pay for teachers
  • Abolishing the STAAR test
  • Taking better care of retired teachers
  • Implementing universal background checks and red flag laws to combat gun violence
  • Increasing access to medical care and mental health care, especially for rural communities
  • Expanding medicaid
  • Making it easier to join unions
  • Increasing access to training for blue collar jobs while cutting out the cost of the education

Throughout his introductory speech, Beto emphasized multiple times that he wants to find common ground with people from both sides of the aisle, saying he wants everyone to be able to work together to make Texas the best it can be.

After the event transitioned into the town hall portion, fellow Democrat candidate Jrmar Jefferson, who is currently running against Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, asked Beto how he plans to revive political involvement in the state, citing the low voter turnout in the state and how many voters have “lost hope.” Beto responded by talking of reviving hope with those voters, saying the following:

“Imagine if with the work we are willing to do, that active hope that we are fighting for, we’re on their doors, we’re listening to them, we’re inviting them into this next election and they prove to be the margin of victory when we win this on the night of Nov. 8. That’s the hope that I feel right now.”

Beto O’Rourke, Texas gubernatorial candidate

To find out more about Beto’s plan for Texas, watch the video above.