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Does Texas’ top executive have his eyes on the White House?

Talk about Gov. Greg Abbott’s presidential ambitions have been growing louder recently, as Capitol sources report the governor continues to ponder a run for the nation’s highest office in 2024.

During a radio interview with DFW radio host Mark Davis on Thursday morning, Abbott all but ruled out the possibility.

“You know, one thing that you know about me … is I take one step at a time, and the first step is to win re-election. And after that, Mark, we’ll see what happens,” Abbott said in an interview aired by 660 AM.

Abbott would not be the first Texas governor to seek the position. Were he to enter the race in 2024, he would be following the footsteps of his immediate predecessors—George W. Bush and Rick Perry.

But first, as Abbott noted, he must survive 2022, when he is set to run for a third gubernatorial term.

That task will almost certainly be made more difficult in this upcoming election cycle, as Abbott’s popularity has waned, particularly with conservatives who have grown frustrated over his string of unilateral executive orders and shutdowns in response to the Chinese coronavirus.

Republican county parties across the state have passed resolutions formally censuring Abbott for the shutdowns and mandates. The Republican Party of Texas passed a resolution urging Abbott to lift all the coronavirus restrictions and open Texas. And last month, hundreds of Texans—including Texas GOP Chairman Allen West and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller—showed up in Austin to protest in front of the Governor’s Mansion.

“I am here for one reason,” True Texas Project CEO Julie McCarty told an energized crowd at the Free Texas Now rally in October. “I want the rest of the nation to know we do not want a President Abbott.”