WILLOW PARK—Property taxes, school choice, and border security were the top issues as Gov. Greg Abbott made a campaign stop for Mike Olcott during early voting in the Republican primary.

Olcott, the co-founder of Parker County Conservatives, is challenging State Rep. Glenn Rogers (R–Graford). The race is a rematch, as Rogers narrowly defeated Olcott in 2022. During that election, Abbott endorsed Rogers.

This year, however, is different, with Abbott telling the crowd he is fully behind Olcott.

On the issue of property taxes, Abbott cited a property tax cut passed last year but noted that he would push for more when they return. 

“One thing that happened—because the Texas economy is booming so much—this last session, we had an all time record budget surplus. In some states, they will use that budget surplus to grow government. In Texas, we know that’s your money, not Austin’s money, and we returned it to you with the largest property tax cuts in the history of the United States,” said Abbott.

Notably, the package passed by the legislature only used around $12 billion of the state’s $31 billion surplus towards new property tax relief.

Abbott noted that when the legislature returned, they would likely have another budget surplus.

“The economy continues to build. And because it’s doing so well, the high probability is that when you elect Mike Olcott and we go into a session, again it looks like we may be sitting on another budget surplus of about $20 billion,” said Abbott. “And you know him, you know his values, you know his priorities, and he’s gonna work with me to make sure that we give you another huge property tax cut.”

On the issue of the school choice—which has been the driving factor of Abbott’s endorsements against incumbent Republicans in the Texas House—Abbott cited recent examples of leftist extremism in public schools.

“In the Dallas Independent School District, they have a program called a resource guide, to educate families in the Dallas Independent School District about how children in that district, students in those schools, can change their gender. That’s just outrageous,” said Abbott.

“For one, why are taxpayer dollars being used for schools to be educating families about changing their genders? But second, are all the kids at the DISD all making A+ and 100s? Of course not.”

Abbott also cited another recent case in which a teacher at Lewisville ISD was exposed for dressing in drag at school. While that teacher has since been placed on leave, Abbott said the real issue was that district allowed it in the first place.

When we have public schools, the goal of those public schools is to educate our kids. What’s happening to the mindset of those kids with regard to when they visualize and see and actually have in their classroom, a teacher who is a crossdresser? Are they paying attention to their math assignment, or are they paying attention to their reading assignment?

“But more fundamentally, imagine if you were one of the parents of children who were in that school knowing this: the state of Texas, as a government, compels you, if you live in Lewisville, to send your child to that school,” said Abbott. “You have the right—that God-given right—to take your child out of that school.”

Rogers was one of 21 Republicans who joined Democrats to help kill a school choice proposal in the Texas House.

“Your current state representative said basically, by voting against school choice, if your kids are exposed to cross dressers or gender changes, or whatever the case may be, you’re stuck—your child is stuck. And that’s not the Texas way,” said Abbott.

Abbott also noted that across the state—and the country—the biggest issue on voters’ minds is the invasion at the southern border.

“We are building the exact same border wall that President Trump built,” Abbott told the crowd. “The only difference is that when you look at the amount of border wall that we have already put up and the amount of border wall that’s currently under construction, Texas is adding more border wall in Texas than Donald Trump built in Texas.”

He also discussed the situation at Shelby Park in Eagle Pass—a former hotspot for illegal crossings that has since been seized by the state. Since then, Abbott said illegal entry in the area has gone down 99 percent.

“I told the National Guard to seize property, which is about 50 acres, and wire it shut, and do not let anybody in, whether it be illegal immigrants or whether it be the Biden administration. Let no one pass,” Abbott told the crowd.

Abbott’s campaign stop for Olcott is one of many he is doing across the state as he encourages voters to bank their vote early for his endorsed candidates, concluding the event by telling people to get to their nearest early voting location.

“Rolling in my wheelchair, I can make it here in about an hour. If I can make it there in an hour, y’all can make it there a whole lot quicker,” he joked. 

“And for everyone who has not yet voted, we don’t want you to wait until later on this week. We don’t want you to wait until next week. We don’t want you to wait until March 5. Do what Trump said: bank that vote early.”

Early voting continues through March 1. Election Day is March 5. 

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens