Hundreds turn out for Beto O'Rourke stop in Greenville

·2 min read

Aug. 13—Several hundred people turned out in Greenville Saturday morning for an appearance by Democrat gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke.

The crowd overflowed the interior of the Reecy Davis Recreation Center and spilled to the outside of the building, while cars were parked in every available spot for blocks.

Hunt County Democratic Party Chair Larry Davis said it was impossible to count the total.

"We had more than 500 RSVP," Davis said.

While most attending the event came to hear O'Rourke during his stop as part of a statewide tour of his campaign, there was a significant turnout of protesters outside of the building, which prompted the presence of multiple law enforcement officers from the Greenville Police Department, Hunt County Sheriff's Office and Texas Department of Public Safety.

O'Rourke is facing incumbent Republican Governor Greg Abbott in November.

Upon his arrival, O'Rourke was greeted by a enthusiastic fan base, who cheered each time he raised the major issues of his campaign; including abortion rights, trans rights and, most notably, gun control in the wake of the May 24 mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.

O'Rourke said the aftermath of the shooting has prompted Democrats, Republicans and independents to call for action.

"We may not see eye eye and no two people ever will," O'Rourke said. "But we can provide enough common ground to get the job done and move this state forward in a far better direction."

O'Rourke also touched on the need to do more for improving teacher pay, expanding Medicaid. O'Rourke also blamed Governor Greg Abbott for a failure to improve the state's power grid in the wake of Winter Storm Uri in February 2021.

"He still has not fixed the grid today," O'Rourke said. "You and I are going to be paying the bills for that going forward."

O'Rourke also called for abolishing the STAAR test and developing a toxic burn pit registry for Texas veterans.

Greenville is expected to host three of the hopefuls running for Texas Governor in the same month.

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Mark Tippetts will be speaking at the Fletcher Warren Civic Center on Friday, Aug. 19.

Abbott received the Broadband Champion Award during an Aug. 3 ceremony at the Hunt Regional Medical Center in Greenville.