A group is growing in Texas called Mothers Against Greg Abbott, with an aim — as its name suggests — of seeing the political toppling of the state’s Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who’s seeking re-election this year to a third term.
Abbott’s Democratic opponent for the general election is Beto O’Rourke, a former Congressman from the state and past opponent to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who ultimately prevailed and won re-election in the perhaps surprisingly close race. O’Rourke recently spoke to individuals involved in Mothers Against Greg Abbott, a group that emerged after Texas mother Nancy Thompson held a single-person protest outside the Texas Capitol, where she carried a sign bearing the phrase. The group is now raising money and releasing ads, with hopes of placing the ads on television as the November elections approach.
Speaking alongside his wife, Amy, O’Rourke himself recently touted the group’s work while speaking with them. “It’s absolutely transforming what’s possible in Texas right now, and there’s literally not a day that goes by that Amy or I or someone on our team do not get asked, ‘Have you seen that great Mothers Against Greg Abbott ad?’” the Democratic gubernatorial contender said. Personally, Thompson used to generally vote Republican, but she distanced herself from the party around the time of the U.S. invasion of Iraq — led, of course, by a Republican president. She’s hoping for Mothers Against Greg Abbott to remain inclusive. “We’re just trying to organize the army and make it super accessible to everyday Texans like me, who may not be super involved in politics — until you’re super involved in politics,” as Thompson explained it.
Mothers Against Greg Abbott is also founding local chapters in far-flung portions of Texas, and it’s putting up billboards. Five billboards recently went up thanks to the group’s work; the billboards featured criticism of Abbott’s response to the recent elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Since the end of June, when the second quarter in campaign fundraising ended, Thompson says Mothers Against Greg Abbott already raised at least $200,000, allowing for additional public advocacy against Abbott. Thompson indicated she was personally incensed by Abbott’s opposition to mask mandates; one of her children has gone through serious health issues requiring hospitalization. Another issue of concern to the group is Abbott’s stance against abortion. There’s a private Facebook group providing a hub for the initiative, and over 50,000 are members.
Thompson said the group’s social media presence sees increased attention in relation to controversial moves from the governor. “It just seemed like every single time Greg Abbott opened up his mouth, we gained thousands of followers every single time,” as Thompson explained. “He just spent the last year making enemies of so many Texans.” Throughout the course of the Mothers Against Greg Abbott movement, Thompson has connected with folks including her close neighbors, David Wolfson and Lauren Sheppard, who co-founded a production company called Spoon Films that previously completed work against Cruz and went on to help with the production of ads for the group. For Abbott to win re-election could potentially pose a problem for the continuance of democratic norms should Texas end up a swing state. (Despite it’s reputation, it’s a lot closer than other GOP-leaning states.) Abbott’s attorney general was closely involved in 2020 election subversion attempts.