Greg Abbott raises money for Victoria Republicans (w/ video)
Feb. 21, 2014 at 10 p.m.
Updated Feb. 20, 2014 at 8:21 p.m.
Attorney General Greg Abbott found a roomful of support Friday night as he talked about his plans to secure the border and create more jobs in Texas.
Abbott, the Republican front-runner for the gubernatorial nomination in the March 4 primary, mixed and mingled with more than 300 Crossroads residents at the Lincoln-Reagan Dinner hosted by the Victoria County Republican Party on Friday evening.
"I'm going to fight against Obama's heavy-handed threats and the burdens he puts on Texans and Americans with his expanding liberal ideology," Abbott, who was the keynote speaker, said. "As governor, I plan to focus on job creation, education, securing the border and transportation."
Republicans filled the Spring Creek Place Event Center to meet Abbott and enjoy dinner prepared by Alimento Catering. General admission tickets were $35 each while tables ranged from $350 to $1,500.
"He is supporting our county with the upcoming elections, and we are grateful," said Charla Borchers Leon, the event vice chairwoman. "He will be our next governor."
Every judge in Victoria County attended the dinner, said Jackie Gloor, the event chairwoman.
"He gave up a Friday night for us," Gloor said. "And all the proceeds from the event will go toward redoing our Republican headquarters."
The second-floor office at 115 S. Main St. will move downstairs, and renovations will include new computers, phone banks and a volunteer room, she said.
Gloor supports Abbott because she likes what he has done as attorney general.
"We need to keep Texas red, a stronghold of liberty with strong-minded, independent people," Gloor said. "We need to continue the fiscally conservative mindset and maximize individual liberties."
Annette and Larry Long, of Victoria, attended the dinner to learn more about Abbott's platform.
Education is Abbott's top budget priority, followed by transportation, water and border security.
Abbott has proposed a $300 million plan to secure the Texas border over two years. The key focuses are drug cartels and gangs, he said.
In addition to general revenue, arrests that result in forfeitures including cash, cars, airplanes and homes will cover the cost of the border security expansion.
Slowing border traffic will also save money spent on housing immigrants arrested in the country illegally.
"We could cut that $150 million in half," Abbott said.
Border security is a statewide issue that affects not only border towns but also cities such as Dallas, Houston, Austin and Victoria, Abbott said. Drug operations have moved into the state because of crackdowns at the border.
Michael Cloud, county chairman for the Victoria County Republican Party, supports Abbott because he is a conservative champion of the constitution.
"We have to stop the national effort to invade Texas," Cloud said. "The Davis camp is getting its money from liberal groups across the country, not Texans."
Mark Zafereo, a financial adviser in Victoria, believes Abbott will guide Texas in the right direction.
"He has gone to bat for Texas against the federal government's attacks," Zafereo said. "I've waited for the day I could cast a vote for Greg Abbott because I knew Gov. Perry couldn't last forever."
Issues important to Zafereo include abortion, torte reform and higher education.
"The Texas economy is great, with more job creation than any other state," Abbott said. "The formula is less government, lower taxes, smart regulation and prevention of union abuses."