For months, the candidates for Texas governor have sparred, debated, and tried to sell themselves to voters. Tuesday night, Democrat Wendy Davis and Republican Greg Abbott will find out who will lead this state.
The final few days have been a whirlwind of rallies, block walks and appearances as the candidates criss-crossed the state urging supporters to vote. Both candidates recently visited North Texas.
On Sunday at El Ranchito restaurant in Oak Cliff, Davis went table to table, posing for photographs and asking for votes. Tito and Connie Morales felt like they were meeting a celebrity.
“I watched her in the debates and I believe in everything she’s saying,” Tito Morales said.
“It just so happens we have a big 'Wendy' sign in our front yard and here she is. So it’s a neat experience,” Connie Morales said.
Shortly after Davis left Dallas to campaign in other parts of the state, Abbott arrived.
“It is so great to be back in the county I grew up in,” Abbott told a packed house Monday morning at a Sonny Bryan’s barbecue restaurant. He was surrounded by other Republican candidates from North Texas, and was introduced by Walker Texas Ranger himself -- actor Chuck Norris.
“This man has the experience and leadership to keep us at No. 1 and make it even redder in this state here,” Norris said.
Both candidates used their final campaign stops to reinforce their messages and to say they’re ignoring the polls that show Abbott, the Republican, with a healthy lead.
Abbott talked more about fighting against President Barack Obama than he did about beating Davis.
“As your attorney general, I have been fighting for your liberty against an overreaching federal government that has been trying to run too much of your lives and take too much of your money," Abbott said. "That’s why I have sued Barak Obama 30 times and I am not done yet.”
Rain is in the forecast, but Abbott warned supporters not to let the weather keep them from voting.
“Do not let that dampen your spirit or those who will go vote," he told the crowd. "We need every last vote in this election."
Davis reminded voters her No. 1 priority is education.
“It means so much to me that thousands and thousands of people across this state believe this election is about our children," Davis said. "It’s about fighting to make sure they have the resources they need in their public schools and electing a governor they know will make that happen."
Davis said she believes her supporters can produce an upset.
“Not for a moment has there been doubt in my mind about what people are capable of accomplishing. Together if we vote we will win and we will make a change in this state,” Davis said.
Davis will await the voting results Tuesday night in her hometown of Fort Worth. Abbott will be in Austin.
Live Election Night coverage on KERA
On Tuesday, KERA 90.1 FM will have live reports from the watch parties of the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor as part of live election coverage, which begins at 7 p.m. Stay tuned at 9:30 p.m. for a half-hour election special.
In North Texas, KERA reporters will also be covering close races for Dallas County District Attorney, the state senate seat Wendy Davis is giving up and the vote to ban fracking in Denton.
Look for our election blog at keranews.org. We’ll have local results throughout the evening.