North Texas Daily

Beto O’Rourke visits Denton for campaign drive

Beto O’Rourke visits Denton for campaign drive

Beto O’Rourke visits Denton for campaign drive
September 07
23:08 2022

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Robert “Beto” O’Rourke visited the Denton Civic Center on Wednesday afternoon during his 49-day “Drive for Texas” campaign, drawing in an audience that filled the indoor area to capacity and left hundreds standing outside.

Denton is one of over 65 counties that Beto has visited during this campaign drive, hoping to gather enough support to defeat incumbent Greg Abbott in the race for governor this November. 

Before O’Rourke took the stage, Amber Briggle, a Denton activist and mother of a transgender child, spoke to the audience. 

“The reality is, that if we don’t elect Beto O’Rourke as our next governor, my family may have to leave the state,” Briggle said. “Despite loving my children unconditionally and providing for their every need, I was investigated by child protective services earlier this year for child abuse, thanks to Greg Abbott.”

Briggle asked the audience to support Beto in November, citing fear that her family would be “torn apart” by current legislation targeting transgender people.

O’Rourke was met with cheers from supporters who held “Beto for Texas” signs as he took the stage. His campaign has centered around several issues, including gun control and reproductive rights.

“These are among, if not the most, dark days in the history of this state, at least during our lifetimes,” O’Rourke said. “The freedoms that we cherish and the protections that we once thought were guaranteed, have been removed by those in the highest positions of power and public trust.”

Among the crowd was Kim Turner, a fifth-generation Texan who has lived in the area for over 15 years and has been a supporter of O’Rourke since he ran for senate in 2018. 

“His ability to come to people on both sides of the aisle in a very divided state is very important,” Turner said. “I know lots of family and friends who have struggled during the last few years, and [O’Rourke’s] ability to sit down and talk about these issues is vital to Texas’ future.”

During his speech, O’Rourke spoke about his belief in democracy and overcoming “voter suppression” in the state to win the election. His race against Abbott is a close one, according to the Texas Politics Project

 O’Rourke focused on topics that relate to recent events and developments, such as the Uvalde shooting and the ban on abortions. He also said that seeing the turnout at his events gives him hope. 

“I know that we’re going to win,” O’Rourke said. “We’re going to win because we are fighting for every woman to make her own decisions. Because we prioritize the lives of our kids. Because we committed ourselves to treating every public school educator with the dignity and respect that they deserve.” 

University art and design senior Rio Baswell said O’Rourke was the first person she decided to vote for when she turned 18.

“I’m really excited to be able to continue supporting him four years later,” Baswell said. “Especially with me being a woman, his stance on abortion rights is really important to me, as well as his stance on LGBTQ rights. I love his message of inclusivity and diversity.”

For information on voter registration and the November election, visit votetexas.gov

Featured Image: Beto O’Rourke speaks to the crowd at his campaign drive on Sept. 7, 2022. Photo by Andrew Hermes

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Jillian Nachtigal

Jillian Nachtigal

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