EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a meet-and-greet with supporters in the Rio Grande Valley on Tuesday as he prepares for re-election in 2022.

During the meet-and-greet, Abbott spoke on the Biden Administration handling of the border and Beto O’Rourke, who in recent weeks announced he would be running for governor.

During his speech, Gov. Abbott emphasized that in the upcoming Texas gubernatorial election, the Rio Grande Valley would be red.

“Every year that I have run for Governor, I have gotten about 45% of the Hispanic vote…this election year I will get more than 50% of the Hispanic vote in the state of Texas,” said Abbott.

Gov. Abbott spoke on valuing Texan’s freedom to choose when it comes to vaccines and the uses of masks – stating unlike the federal mandates implemented by President Biden, Texas gives people the right to make that choice.

Abbott also touched on other policies that have made headlines across the nation such as the recent bill passed in Texas that bans all surgical abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, which can be as early as six weeks — a time when most people do not know they are pregnant. 

He also spoke on a bill passed in the most recent election that prevented local authorities from closing down churches.

The occasion was a campaigning event for the governor, who the previous week, visited the Rio Grande Valley to deliver tamales to law enforcement and military members working at the border as part of Operation Lone Star.

On Monday, Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced a partnership between the General Land Office (GLO) and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will allow the construction of a border wall along a GLO-owned farm tract in Starr County. 

Earlier this month, Democratic Candidate for Texas Governor Beto O’Rourke also visited the Rio Grande Valley shortly after announcing he would be joining the race.

“The border is very important to me and it’s no accident that I started the campaign on the border in my hometown of El Paso, that I was in Laredo, Texas, last night and I’m here [in the RGV] with you today,” O’Rourke said in response to a question from Border Report.

He also mentioned there were other visits planned in the area.

To view other candidates on the ballot, click here.

Abbott is up for re-election in 2022.