The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Rumors commence for 2022 governor race; students react

courtesy+of+Houston+Chronicle
courtesy of Houston Chronicle

Juan Salinas II
campus editor

Even though the Texas governor’s race is still a year away, students say they are already showing interest.

Several news outlets are reporting that former U.S. Rep. Beto O’ Rourke plans to run. Also rumored to run is famous actor Matthew McConaughey.

Celebrities running for office isn’t new — Kanye West ran for president last year. But one instructor said being a good candidate means more than just name recognition.

“I think we need people that are experienced working in politics,” NW government instructor Lauren McClain said. “They don’t have to be old or been in politics forever, but I think we need somebody who has experience in public service.”

Thirty-five people voted in an online poll The Collegian conducted, O’Rourke beat Abbott with about 80% of the vote.

“As much as I think fresh ideas are great for Texas, I don’t know if he has a shot because he is so progressive, and Texas still does have a majority of people that identify as more conservative,” McClain said.

NE student Revna Jimenez said O’Rourke has more experience and she agrees with his viewpoints. O’Rourke isn’t as progressive as Bernie Sanders but would be an excellent fit for Texas, she said.

“I feel like he has a lot of experience now since he tried to become president back in 2020, and I think he has a lot of really good viewpoints,” she said about O’Rourke, who dropped out of the 2020 presidential race before the primary due to low support and funding.

She said the state is becoming more of a toss-up, listing Tarrant County voting for O’Rourke in the 2018 Senate race against Ted Cruz as an example.

Republicans still dominate Texas politics, though, and one student said Abbott could even see some pressure in his primary.

“I feel like Abbott has done a good job, but I think it could be greatly improved with someone like Allen West or Mr. [Don] Huffines,” NE student Colin Mccullough said.

West was chairman of the Texas Republican Party but resigned to run against Abbott in next year’s primary. Huffines is a former state senator who served from 2015 to 2019 and has also entered the primary.

“If Texas goes blue, I believe America will really change because Texas is such a big state with so many electoral votes,” Mccullough said.

Mccullough has concerns about O’Rourke’s stance on guns, vaccine mandates and border policy.

“I feel his plan for open borders is a disaster,” Mccullough said. “I already know he is going to put in a vaccine mandate, which is totally unconstitutional.”

The last gubernatorial election had a turnout of 46.3% of voting-eligible Texans, which was 13% more than the 2014 election.

NW student Melody Osorio believes this trend will continue with many issues that will drive people to the voting booth. For her, it’s the controversial “heartbeat” law restricting abortion access that went into effect the first of this month.

“I’m not really happy about the abortion bill,” she said. “I feel like every woman has the right to an abortion, whether you agree with it or not.”

But Osorio also believes O’Rourke is too left-leaning for Texas. She wants someone in the middle of the political spectrum.

“He could win, he could not,” Osorio said. “Because we do have a lot of conservative people living in Texas.”

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