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Gov. Greg Abbott, facing little competition in his own campaign for another term, is hitting the road for other Republicans.
This weekend, Abbott will embark on a statewide tour during which he will appear with over three dozen down-ballot candidates across 18 cities, according to his campaign. The trip coincides with the early voting period, which starts Monday and goes through Nov. 2.
The candidates include some whose races are among the most competitive this fall in Texas, such as U.S. Rep. John Culberson of Houston and state Sen. Konni Burton of Colleyville. Beyond aiding individual candidates, the stops are geared toward motivating Republicans to turn out in the face of long-building Democratic enthusiasm.
The statewide trip comes as Abbott remains the heavy favorite in his own race, consistently leading Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez by double digits in polling. She is currently crisscrossing Texas with other Democratic statewide candidates as part of a bus tour organized by the state party.
In addition to the travel, Abbott is putting his massive campaign operation to use in down-ballot races. His campaign expects to spend millions of dollars assisting other candidates — spending that began in earnest on his most recent campaign finance report, which shows he funneled $276,000 to nine House incumbents and candidates through Sept. 27.
“From the beginning of this campaign the Governor has made it a priority to help Republicans up and down the ballot and that is exactly what he has been doing by investing money and time in competitive races all across the state," Abbott spokesman John Wittman said in a statement.
Here are the stops on Abbott's statewide tour, along with some of the candidates and elected officials set to join Abbott:
- Sunday in Houston: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Culberson
- Monday in Bee Cave: State Rep. Paul Workman of Austin
- Monday in San Antonio: State Sen. Pete Flores of Pleasanton and John Lujan, the GOP nominee for House District 118
- Tuesday in Belton: State Sen. Dawn Buckingham of Lakeway; Brad Buckley, the Republican nominee for House District 54; and U.S. Rep. John Carter of Round Rock
- Tuesday in Irving: State Rep. Rodney Anderson of Grand Prairie, state Sen. Don Huffines of Dallas and Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson
- Wednesday in Tyler: State Rep. Cole Hefner of Mt. Pleasant, state Rep. Matt Schaefer of Tyler and state Sen. Bryan Hughes of Mineola
- Wednesday in Port Neches: State Rep. Dade Phelan of Beaumont and Jefferson County Judge Bill Branick
- Thursday in Corpus Christi: State Rep. Todd Hunter of Corpus Christi; Mike Pusley, the Republican nominee for Nueces County judge; U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud of Victoria and U.S. Sen. John Cornyn
- Friday in Houston: State Sen. Joan Huffman of Houston, Culberson and Cornyn
- Oct. 28 in Collin County: State Rep. Jeff Leach of Plano; Angela Paxton, the Republican nominee for Senate District 8; state Sen. Van Taylor of Plano, the GOP nominee for Texas' 3rd Congressional District; and state Rep. Matt Shaheen of Plano
- Oct. 29 in Lewisville: U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant of Coppell and state Rep. Ron Simmons of Carrollton
- Oct. 29 in Amarillo: State Rep. John Smithee of Amarillo and state Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo
- Oct. 30 in Georgetown: State Rep. Tony Dale of Cedar Park; Cythia Flores, the Republican nominee for House District 52; and Carter
- Oct. 30 in Sugar Land: State Rep. Rick Miller of Sugar Land and Huffman
- Oct. 31 in Fort Worth: State Rep. Craig Goldman of Fort Worth and Burton
- Oct. 31 in San Angelo: State Rep. Drew Darby of San Angelo and state Sen. Charles Perry of Lubbock
- Nov. 1 in Midland: State Rep. Brooks Landgraf of Odessa and U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway of Midland
- Nov. 1 in El Paso
- Nov. 1 in Harlingen: Jaime Tijerina, the Republican nominee for Place 4 on the 13th Court of Appeals; Ernie Aliseda, the GOP nominee for chief justice of the 13th Court of Appeals; and Carlos Cascos, the Republican nominee for Cameron County judge
Disclosure: Paul Workman has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.