EDINBURG, Texas — Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott said he is preparing to sue the Obama administration to recuperate the money spent by the state dealing with the recent border crisis.
He made the claim on Friday evening when he faced off against his Democratic opponent Wendy Davis during the first gubernatorial debate which was held near the Texas-Mexico border.
According to Abbott, the Obama administration failed to secure the border and prevent the immigration surge that resulted in a humanitarian crisis and became a financial burden on the state and the municipalities of the Texas border.
During the debate, Davis said she supported the law enforcement surge the Texas Department of Public Safety sent additional troopers to the area to help deal with border security; however she questioned the validity of sending the National Guard which doesn’t have arresting powers in Texas.
The debate was the first of its kind between the two candidates and it was the first gubernatorial debate held in South Texas, an area with a large Hispanic population.
One of the topics where the two candidates traded jabs came when the issue of voter ID was brought up. Davis accused Abbott of bringing up an issue that discriminated against minorities by limiting their access to vote.
Abbott said he regretted bringing up the topic, but “the FBI is currently investigating a case in the Rio Grande Valley where cocaine was used in exchange for votes,” the candidate said. He was referring to a story published by Breitbart Texas about the 2012 democratic primary in Hidalgo County where various political supporters have been charged with buying votes with cash or drugs.
During the question and answer session, Davis said she was in favor of having everyone in Texas possess a driver’s license and insurance regardless of their immigration status. According to her, the license would mean they had been tested by the state in regards to their driving skills.
Abbott rebutted Davis’ stand saying that a license like that would be in conflict with federal law and if elected he would be opposed to it.
The two candidates are expected to have one more debate before the election.
Follow Ildefonso Ortiz on Twitter @ildefonsoortiz.