Beto O’Rourke visits Lubbock to campaign for Texas governor

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas gubernatorial hopeful Beto O’Rourke visited Lubbock Tuesday and spoke about a wide variety of issues.

O’Rourke spoke about the importance of psychological care for veterans. He noted how, while he was congressman, he worked with Republican congressman Jodey Arrington to improve mental health facilities for veterans in his home district of El Paso.

“Jodey and I will not agree on everything. And maybe we don’t agree on most things, I don’t know,” he said. “But we could agree that those men and women who are willing to give their lives for this country deserve every single thing that we could give to them going forward.”

Additionally, O’Rourke said if he were elected he would make sure the state invests in Lubbock and the South Plains.

“I want to make sure as your next governor, that when we’re looking at economic development in the state of Texas, we don’t just look at the DFW area, or at Austin or Houston — and those communities are important too,” he said. “But I want to make sure that high value, high wage, high tech, high skilled jobs are coming to Lubbock, the South Plains and all of these communities, including the rural ones around us.”

O’Rourke criticized standardized testing in schools, as well as low teacher wages.

“I know that on average, most of you are working a second or a third job, just to make ends meet,” he said. “I know most of you struggle with high-stakes, high-pressure standardized tests that in no way adequately measure the potential of that child in front of you.”

O’Rourke said the state should take the money offered by the federal government to improve services in Texas.

“Over the course of the seven years,” he said, “since Greg Abbott has been governor, he’s left $100 billion — with a B —$100 billion on the table of federal government money that was going to come from Washington, D.C. to Lubbock County and the other 253 [counties] across Texas to make sure that we can hire more doctors, more providers, more mental health care specialists.”

O’Rourke also spoke about marijuana legalization and said as governor, he would legalize marijuana in Texas.

“If we’re talking about people being able to fulfill their potential in their promise, if we’re talking about being a strong fiscal steward of your tax dollars,” he said, “then we’ve got to ask ourselves: Why are we paying to lock up our fellow Texans right now for possession of a substance that is legal for most of the rest of the country?”

He said he would repeal the permitless carry law that was passed into law and went into effect in September 2021. The law, also called constitutional carry, allows those who qualify to carry a handgun in public without a license.

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