TYLER, Texas (KETK)- Texas State Governor Greg Abbott and Beto O’Rourke have been campaigning for months.

On Friday, they faced off on stage during an exclusive debate on KETK News. Watch parties were hosted by both Smith County Republican and Democrat parties.

Some of the key points East Texas conservatives found were crucial as Friday’s debate took center stage in Rio Grande valley the immigration crisis, border security, and school safety.

East Texas Republicans say Governor Abbott’s actions at the border have been successful as Texas should not be responsible for border security.

“This is a federal government issue and the current administration has not done their job on. Because of it, he’s been forced to put it into place. When you look at the numbers before when we had a Republican President, we didn’t have the people pouring across the border as we do right now. It’s quadrupled,” said Chairman of Smith County Republican Party, David Stein.

While conservatives feel that former congressman O’Rourke is soft on immigration, he has set his priorities on the United States Supreme Court’s decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

“Women around me really want the most education that they can get even in this. There has been a lot of misinformation that came out of this decision. The decision is going back to the States… it is not abolishing abortion altogether,” said Precinct Chair of Smith County Republican Party, Heather Stoner.

On the other hand, East Texas democrats feel the decision on Roe v. Wade needs to be changed immediately citing women’s health and choice as a top priority.

“What a woman decides to do as far as abortion is between her and her creator, her doctor, her conscious and I believe that also. But, it all comes down to the Reproductive Act of who is the person that is supposed to be able to tell a female/male what to do with their bodily anatomy. O’Rourke seems to think that no one should,” said Chairman of Smith County Democrat Party, Hector Garza.

The Election is on November 8th and early voting starts on October 24th. O’Rourke is lagging behind Abbott in the polls within the single-digit margins.  


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