Greg Abbott

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Greg Abbott
Greg Abbott.jpg
48th Governor of Texas
From: January 20, 2015 – present
Lieutenant Dan Patrick
Predecessor Rick Perry
Successor Incumbent (no successor)
50th Attorney General of Texas
From: December 2, 2002 – January 5, 2015
Governor Rick Perry
Predecessor John Cornyn
Successor Ken Paxton
Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
From: 1996–2001
Predecessor Jack Hightower
Successor Xavier Rodriguez
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Cecilia Phalen
Religion Roman Catholic

Gregory Wayne "Greg" Abbott (born November 13, 1957[1]) is the conservative, pro-life Republican governor of Texas, a position which he has held since January 2015. Previously, he was an associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court from 1995 to 2001 and the attorney general of his state from 2002 to 2015.

Early life

Abbott was born in Wichita Falls, Texas, on November 13, 1957, and was reared in Longview, Texas.[1] He earned an undergraduate degree in finance from UT-Austin and a law degree at Vanderbilt University.[1]

Early career

Abbott served from 1993 to 1995 as a trial judge on the 129th District Court.[1] In 1995, Texas governor George W. Bush appointed him to the Texas Supreme Court, and Abbott would remain a member of the court until he resigned in 2001.[1]

Attorney General

Abbott was first elected Texas AG in 2002.[1] He had a mostly conservative record and is known for successfully arguing before the Supreme Court in Van Orden v. Perry.[1] Abbott sued the federal government 27 times during his tenure as Attorney General, and he served in that position until he began his term as Texas governor in 2015.[1]

Texas governor

2014 election

Abbott won the 2014 election in a landslide, along with numerous other conservative Republicans.

Abbott won the 2014 general election with over 59 percent of the vote,[1][2][3] in an election that was a disaster for Democrats.[4][5] In the same election, the Tea Party made large gains in the state.[6] Abbott's campaign was praised for its effectiveness.[7]

2018 election

In the Republican primary held on March 6, 2018, Abbott polled 1,392,294 votes (90.4 percent) over two minor intra-party rivals.[8]

In the November 6 general election, Abbott will face one of two Democrats, the liberal Lupe Valdez, the former sheriff of Dallas County and an open lesbian, and Andrew White, son of the late former Governor Mark White. Valdez led White in the primary, 43 to 27. Abbott outpolled Valdez by nearly 956,000 votes in their respective party primaries.


Abbott took office on January 20, 2015.[9] Abbott called a special session in 2017, ordering the legislature to focus on conservative priorities.[10] Despite Abbott's conservative views, some conservative commentators voiced their concerns that Texas bureaucrats were increasing Texas regulations and making it more like California.[11] However, the Trump Administration nominated several conservative judges who once were employees of Abbott,[12] and Abbott appointed several conservatives to the courts himself.[13]


In late November 2016, Texas, under Abbott, approved new rules that would require aborted babies to receive a burial or cremation, proper for a real human being, rather than be disposed of in a sanitary landfill.[14][15] Despite the common sense on protecting human life, a federal judge ruled against the law in late January 2017.[16]

In June 2017, Abbott signed a major pro-life bill into law banning dismemberment abortions, banning the sale of the body parts of aborted babies, and requiring the remains of the babies be either buried or cremated rather than disposed of in an inhumane way.[17][18][19][20][21]

Religious liberty

On June 11, 2015, Abbott signed an act into law that gives pastors that right to refuse to "marry" homosexual couples if it violates their conscience.[22]

On May 21, 2017, Abbott signed Senate Bill 24 into law, preventing state or local governments from subpoenaing pastors' sermons.[23][24] This bill was inspired by an pro-homosexual "anti-discrimination" ordinance in Houston, where five sermons were subpoenaed.[23]

On June 15, 2017, Abbott signed H.B. 3859 into law, which gave adoption agencies to refuse to let homosexual couples adopt the children under their care due to religious reasons.[25][26][27][28] This law caused California, a left-wing Democrat state, to add Texas to its governmental travel ban list.[29][30]

Gun rights

On June 13, 2015, Abbott signed the campus carry (SB 11) and the open carry (HB 910) bills into law.[31] The campus carry law went into effect on August 1, 2015 and allows the licensed carrying of a concealed handgun on public college campuses, with private colleges being able to opt out.[31][32] The open carry bill went into effect on January 1, 2016 and allows the licensed carrying of handguns openly in all locations that allow concealed carry.[31][32][33] Texas is the 45th state to have open carry.[34] Later, in May 2017, Abbott signed a bill into law massively reducing handgun carry licence fees.[35][36]

In 2018, Abbott caved to the gun control lobby by canceling shotgun giveaway for a contest after left-wing gun control activists criticized him for it.[37]

Illegal immigration and refugees

Abbott signed the 2015 Texas state budget into law, which provided for a record amount of spending for border security and enforcement.[38] Abbott vetoed almost $300 million in discretionary spending from the budget despite that.[39][40] The Texas legislature did not pass a bill to end "sanctuary cities", so Abbott took matters into his own hands and established a plan to "strip state grant funding from county sheriff's" who do not enforce the law.[41]

In September 2016, Abbott withdrew Texas from a federal refugee resettlement program after the Obama Administration rejected "specific security conditions" from the state.[42]

On February 1, 2017, Abbott blocked funding to Travis County after its left-wing sheriff introduced illegal "sanctuary city" policies to the county.[43][44] On May 7, 2017, Abbott signed a bill into law which would criminally charge city or county officials who refuse to cooperate with federal officials in enforcing immigration laws and which gives the police the right to choose to check the immigration status of individuals if they choose, effectively banning "sanctuary" cities.[45][46][47] While a federal judge blocked portions of the law, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the ruling.[48] In March 2018, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals again ruled in favor of the law.[49]

In April 2018, Abbott pledged to send 250 National Guard troops to the U.S.–Mexico border in accordance with President Donald Trump's order to send troops there,[50] and he defended the actions.[51] A few days later, Abbott increased the number of pledged troops to at least 1,000.[52]


Abbott signed three bills in 2017, one of which condemns the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and requires that every business that contracts for any Texas governmental unit not to boycott Israel,[53] and the other two ban government contractors from doing business with Iran, Sudan, or "designated foreign terrorist organizations"; and expand anti-Iran restrictions.[54]

State and national sovereignty

On June 14, 2017, Abbott signed a bill into law prohibiting the use of any foreign law, including Sharia Law, in Texas courts.[55]

Voter fraud

On June 2, 2017, Abbott signed a bill into law reinstating and modifying Texas's voter ID law.[56] Also in June 2017, Abbott vetoed a bill that would have allowed mail-in-ballot-only elections in some elections in rural counties because he thought the risk of voter fraud was too high for such a bill.[57] On August 11, 2017, Abbott signed a bill into law increasing the penalty for mail-in ballot fraud.[58]

Other issues

A few days later, he signed a bill into law cracking down on sexual teacher-student relationships.[59] He also signed a bill into law expanding Texas's hate crime law to include crimes against police officers and judges.[60][61] On June 6, 2017, Abbott signed a bill into law banning texting while driving in Texas.[62][63]

On June 9, 2017, Abbott signed a bill into law expanding Texas's ban on female genital mutilation.[64]

Polls in April 2018 showed Abbott "highly vulnerable" to the challenge of either of his two Democratic opponents, Lupe Valdez (the lesbian Dallas County Sheriff, who failed to pay her property taxes until late June 2018) or Andrew White (son of former Governor Mark White). Valdez and White competed in the May 22 runoff election for their party's nomination to contest Abbott's re-election bid; Valdez won. However, Abbott handily won re-election.

Personal life

Abbott is married to Cecilia Phalen Abbott, who is the first Latina first lady of Texas.[9] He is the first Texas governor to use a wheelchair, having used it since being injured when an oak tree fell on him in 1984.[9] The Abbotts have an adopted daughter.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Governor Greg Abbott. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  2. Root, Jay (November 4, 2014). Abbott Crushes Davis in GOP Sweep. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  3. Hoppe, Christy (November 5, 2014). Greg Abbott tops Wendy Davis in Texas governor's race. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  4. Thorburn, Wayne (November 17, 2016). How the Democrats Lost Texas. Politico Magazine. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  5. Hamilton, Reeve (November 5, 2014). What Went Wrong With Battleground Texas? The Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 21, 2018.
  6. Grissom, Brandi (May 28, 2014). Tea Party Conservatives Win Top GOP Runoff Contests. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  7. Carney, Dave (February 6, 2015). How We Won Texas. Politico Magazine. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  8. Election Returns. Texas Secretary of State (March 6, 2018). Retrieved on March 7, 2018.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Fernandez, Manny (January 20, 2015). Texas’ New Governor Echoes the Plans of Perry. The New York Times. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  10. Price, Bob (June 6, 2017). Texas Governor Calls for Legislative Special Session for ‘Bathroom Bill’, Others. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  11. LENNON: Texas Bureaucrats Are Becoming More Regulation-friendly Than Obama. Breitbart News. June 28, 2017. Retrieved June 29, 2017.
  12. Platoff, Emma (April 3, 2018). "A friendly vote on the court": How Greg Abbott's former employees could help Texas from the federal bench. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  13. Vertuno, Jim (March 7, 2019). Texas governor fills courts with GOP judges voters rejected. Houston Chronicle (from the Associated Press). Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  14. Stack, Liam (November 30, 2016). Texas Will Require Burial of Aborted Fetuses. The New York Times. Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  15. Perchick, Michael (December 1, 2016). New Texas provisions require burial or cremation of aborted fetuses. USA Today (from KVUE-TV). Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  16. Evans, Marissa (January 27, 2017). Federal court blocks Texas fetal remains burial rule. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  17. Price, Bob (June 7, 2017). Texas Governor Inks Dismemberment Abortion, Sale of Body Parts Ban. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  18. Mekelburg, Madlin (May 26, 2017). Sweeping anti-abortion bill heads to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. Dallas News. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  19. Gryboski, Michael (June 7, 2017). Texas Governor Signs Abortion Dismemberment Ban Into Law. The Christian Post. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  20. Chretien, Claire (June 7, 2017). Texas bans mutilating babies in abortion, selling their body parts. LifeSite News. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  21. Russell, Nicole (July 6, 2017). Texas law recognizes human life, critics rage. Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  22. Crampton, Liz (June 11, 2015). Abbott Signs "Pastor Protection Act" Into Law. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Abbott Signs Bill Protecting Sermons from Subpoenas. The Texas Tribune (May 21, 2017). Retrieved on May 22, 2017.
  24. Abbott Signs Bill Preventing Government From Subpoenaing Sermons. CBS DFW (May 21, 2017). Retrieved on May 22, 2017.
  25. Gryboski, Michael (June 16, 2017). Texas Gov. Signs Bill Protecting Religious Freedom of Faith-Based Adoption Groups. The Christian Post. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  26. Evans, Marissa (June 15, 2017). Abbott OKs religious refusal of adoptions in Texas. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  27. Gill, Joshua (June 16, 2017). Religious Adoption Agencies Can Reject LGBT Parents In Texas. The Daily Caller. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  28. LaBarbera, Peter (June 16, 2017). New law: Christian adoption agencies won’t be forced to give kids to gay couples in Texas. LifeSite News. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  29. Watkins, Matthew (June 22, 2017). Citing religious refusal of adoption rule, California bans state travel to Texas. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  30. Price, Bob (June 22, 2017). California Attacks Texas with Travel Ban over Alleged LGBT Discrimination. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 Gov. Abbott signs open carry, campus carry into law (2015-06-13). Retrieved on 2016-01-02.
  32. 32.0 32.1 At Shooting Range, Abbott Signs "Open Carry" Bill. The Texas Tribune (2015-06-13). Retrieved on 2016-01-02.
  33. Texas Open Carry Gun Law. Retrieved on January 2, 2016.
  34. Texas becomes 45th state to pass open carry law (2015-06-08). Retrieved on 2016-01-02.
  35. Price, Bob (May 28, 2017). Texas Governor Signs Law Reducing Handgun Carry License Fees. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  36. Samuels, Alex (May 26, 2017). Texas governor jokes about shooting reporters after signing gun bill. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  37. Folley, Aris (May 21, 2018). Texas governor cancels shotgun giveaway days after school shooting. The Hill. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  38. Shadwick, Lana (June 10, 2015). Texas Gov. Signs Toughest Border Security Plan of Any State, and Seeks Fed Reimbursement. Breitbart. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  39. Governor Abbott Signs State Budget Into Law. Office of the Governor. June 20, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  40. Gov. Abbott Cuts $300M, Vetoes Bills On Spousal Loopholes, Prostitution. CBS DFW. June 20, 2015. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  41. Price, Bob (January 1, 2016). 2015: Texas’ New Governor Attacks Sanctuary Cities, Expands Border Security. Breitbart. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  42. Price, Bob (September 30, 2016). Texas Withdraws from Federal Refugee Resettlement Program. Breitbart. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  43. Svitek, Patrick (February 1, 2017). In "sanctuary" fight, Abbott cuts off funding to Travis County. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  44. Price, Bob (February 1, 2017). Texas Governor Cuts Cash for Sanctuary County. Breitbart. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  45. Carter, Brandon (May 7, 2017). Texas governor signs law banning sanctuary cities. The Hill. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  46. Price, Bob (May 7, 2017). Texas Governor Signs Toughest Sanctuary City Law in U.S.A.. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  47. Texas governor signs bill targeting sanctuary cities. Fox News. May 7, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  48. Price, Bob (September 25, 2017). Texas’ Anti-Sanctuary City Law Can Be Enforced, Appeals Court Rules. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
  49. Multiple references:
  50. Multiple references:
  51. Key, Pam (April 9, 2018). TX Gov Abbott: ‘Mathematical Need’ for National Guard to Secure U.S.-Mexico Border. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  52. Multiple references: See also:
  53. Hope, Merrill (May 2, 2017). Texas Governor Signs Anti-BDS Bill into Law. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  54. Hope, Merrill (June 9, 2017). Texas Governor, Israeli PM Reaffirm Strong Ties During Call. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  55. Hope, Merrill (June 16, 2017). Texas Enacts ‘Anti-Sharia’ Law. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  56. Wilson, Reid (June 2, 2017). Texas gov signs new voter ID plan. The Hill. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
    See also:
  57. Svitek, Patrick (June 15, 2017). Abbott vetoes 50 bills passed by Legislature. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  58. Hope, Merrill (August 14, 2017). Texas Inks Stiffer Penalties for Mail Ballot Voter Fraud. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  59. Hope, Merrill (May 25, 2017). Texas Governor Signs Law to Crackdown on Teacher Sex Misconduct. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  60. Price, Bob (June 17, 2017). Texas Makes Attacking Cops a Hate Crime. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  61. Blake, Andrew (May 25, 2017). Texas legislature broadens hate crime law to protect police officers, judges. The Washington Times. Retrieved May 25, 2017.
  62. Platoff, Emma (June 6, 2017). Gov. Abbott signs statewide ban on texting while driving. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved June 7, 2017.
  63. Hope, Merrill (June 8, 2017). Texting While Driving Ban Coming to Texas. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  64. Hope, Merrill (June 14, 2017). Texas Expands Ban on Female Genital Mutilation. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 15, 2017.

External links