Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been reelected for a third term in office after months of contestation over his response to the May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 21 people dead.
While Abbott has been a frontrunner in Uvalde County in both of his previous elections, the Texas governor faced criticism regarding his lack of transparency and inability to enact change in gun control policy following the deadliest school shooting in his state.
Community members and loved ones of the deceased campaigned for O’Rourke’s election for months following the tragedy, calling for the minimum age to purchase a semi-automatic rifle to change from 18 years old to 21 years old. This was largely in part to the Uvalde shooter purchasing two legal weapons after his 18th birthday, KUT 90.5 reports.
On Monday, Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez released call logs between Abbott and Texas DPS from the day of the shooting.
According to Gutierrez, Abbott had three calls from the state’s DPS director after 18-year-old gunman Salvador Ramos entered the school through an open back door at 11:33 a.m. Gutierrez reported that the first went out after 4 p.m, the next at 5 p.m., and the last at 8:41 p.m.
“It’s the lack of importance that he placed on the communications between home and his top cop. A 7-minute call, a 6-minute call, goes to a fundraiser, collects 60 grand and then makes another longer call, 18 minutes,” Gutierrez told KHOU 11.
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Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin also expressed doubts in the Texas Department of Public Safety’s ongoing investigation and Abbott’s immediate response.
He expressed in a July interview with CNN that he believed upper management in the Texas DPS was covering up for their agencies.
“What do they say? It’s always hard when you tell a lie, you have to keep telling a lie,” McLaughlin said, pointing to the shifting stories that have emerged about what happened on the day of the shooting. “I’m not saying he’s lying, maybe he was misled with the information he got.
“Your story can’t change on something this horrific three times, four times, in three days,” McLaughlin added. “At this point, I don’t know what to believe and what not to believe.”
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During a press conference following the May tragedy, Abbott expressed that the situation “could’ve been worse.”
According to Abbott, “The reason it was not worse is because law enforcement officials did what they do. They showed amazing courage by running toward gunfire for the singular purpose of trying to save lives. It is a fact that because of their quick response, getting on the scene, being able to respond to the gunman, and eliminate the gunman, they were able to save lives. Unfortunately, not enough.”
The school district in Uvalde opened an official account with First State Bank of Uvalde to support Robb Elementary families affected by the tragedy. People can send checks through the mail (payable to the “Robb School Memorial Fund”) or donate money through Zelle to firstname.lastname@example.org. People can also donate by calling 830-356-2273.