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Texas welcomes new governor—Greg Abbott sworn in


After more than 14 years, Texas swore in its first new governor, Greg Abbott, R-Texas, Jan. 20 on the south lawn of the Texas Capitol building in downtown Austin.

Abbott served as attorney general for more than a decade, and as governor, he has vowed to fight the Obama administration’s reach into the state and said he will secure the border.

“As governor I will continue my legacy of pushing back against Washington, if they spend too much, regulate too much or violate our state sovereignty,” said Abbott during his acceptance speech. “Any government that uses the guise of fairness to rob us of our freedom will get a unique Texan response: ‘come and take it.’”

Abbott is expected to be a prominent player at the national level.

“Almost by definition, the governor of Texas is going to be a national actor, particularly if that person is a Republican,” said Mark Jones, chair of the political science department at Rice University, in an interview with Reuters.

On his agenda, Abbott said he wants to improve Texas education—from pre-kindergarten to  higher education.

“Texas is exceptional, and our education system must be too. As Governor, I want next year’s Pre-K class to graduate from high school in the top ranked school system in the country. That means setting expectations of excellence for our children, our teachers, our principals and our parents, and then giving educators the flexibility to achieve them,” said Abbott, in a message on his website.

Abbott’s plan for Texas education focuses on four key areas—improving graduation rates, leveraging technology for greater access and affordability, exempting military families from tuition and increasing Texas’ national research standing.

The plan details a series of recommendations under each of the four different sections, which can be found at

Denisse Villavicencio, junior Spanish major, said that she hopes the new governor and his plan for education does well, regardless of his political identity.

“Perhaps we may have different views, but for the good of the state let’s hope that change comes in positive manner that benefits us all,” Villa-vicencio said. “As students, we must understand that this is not only the future of one group of students, but the future of everyone who currently is and will be a university student.”

Moises Blankenship, senior history major and president of the College Republicans, said that Abbott was a positive asset for UTEP.

“He is going to be doing good, he is going to continue some policies that have shown to work and hopefully the state continues to grow,” Blankenship said.

Alonso Moreno may be reached at [email protected].

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Texas welcomes new governor—Greg Abbott sworn in