HOUSTON, Texas–Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Greg Abbott launched his first statewide television ad against his Democrat opponent Wendy Davis during the World Cup game between the Brazil and Mexico on Tuesday night. The ad was produced and broadcast in Spanish language. Abbott appears to be making a move on the Hispanic market after Davis’ failure to win in half of the counties along the Texas/Mexico border.
The ad features Abbott’s sister-in-law Rosie Phalen. She opens the ad speaking about the first time she met her sister’s, Cecilia Abbott’s husband more than thirty years ago according to a news report on KVUE TV. If Abbott is elected in November, Cecilia Abbott will be the first Latina First Lady of Texas.
The ad emphasizes traditional family values and shows the Abbott family laughing and chatting at a picnic. The ad ends with Abbott’s teenage daughter Audrey, who frequently travels with him on the campaign trail and introduces him at many campaign stops. Audrey is seen with others holding a soccer ball when the now famous Abbott logo appears with the words “para gobernador” (for governor).
In March, Breitbart Texas reported that Davis lost her primary election bid, against a virtually unknown Democrat candidate who did not campaign and spent very little money, in half of the fourteen counties along the Rio Grande River. Her Democrat opponent, Reynaldo Madrigal, said in February that the majority of Texans “don’t see her as a leader, especially Catholics.”
“But it’s just not Catholics,” Madrigal said, “it is Baptists and people of other religions. They don’t support abortion, and Wendy Davis is an abortion candidate.” It appears voters in south Texas agreed with Madrigal. It also appears Abbott is set to exploit her weakness in this region and attract more Hispanic voters to the Republican ticket in November.
Earlier this year, Republican Party of Texas chairman, Steve Munisteri, told the Houston Chronicle “The party’s leadership has long recognized the importance of the Hispanic community. It continues to be a top priority of the Republican Party that we continue our engagement with the Hispanic community,” he said. “As a result, today we have seven full time employees committed to engaging Hispanic voters in Texas.”
Abbott told the San Antonio Express-News that he is fighting for the Hispanic vote in the upcoming election. He said the Republican Party is a natural fit for the growing Hispanic vote.
The ad premiered on Univision during the Brazil-Mexico World Cup Match and will continue to run during World Cup matches on Spanish-language networks according to Abbott campaign spokesman Matt Hirsch.