Greg Abbott Wins YCT Straw Poll, Still Silent On DREAM Act

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The Young Conservatives of Texas, the controversial group whose UT Chapter was  responsible for both the “Affirmative Action Bake Sale” and the “Catch an Illegal Immigrant Game” have released the results of their straw poll along with their endorsements of Texas statewide Republicans and it could get a little awkward.

Greg Abbott, YCT's top choice for governor was pressured into distancing himself from the group earlier this month, and now Texas Democratic Party leaders are calling for him to outright and preemptively reject their endorsement because of their anti-immigrant activities. State Representative Mary Gonzalez one of the Texas Legislature's youngest members said,

“Given the organization's latest stunt insulting DREAMers, Greg Abbott needs to announce loud and clear that he will decline an endorsement from the Young Conservatives of Texas…Greg Abbott can't on one hand claim to support the Latino community and on the other take assistance from this organization.”

While Abbott tip-toes around the issue of immigration, his party's candidates for Lt. Gov. have been much more vocal on that topic as well as their desire to be courted by YCT.

At least two candidates — Dan Patrick and Jerry Patterson — actively lobbied for their endorsement through social media. “It was an honor to see candidates running for office at all levels pushing this straw poll on social media and through email,” YCT State Chairman, Jeff Morris said in a press release.

For full YCT straw poll results and the response from the TDP click below the jump.YCT clarified via Twitter that they have not officially endorsed in the race for Governor or Lt. Gov., but they have already selected two standard bearers from the state legislature, Jonathan Stickland and Jodie Laubenberg. Stickland got the group's highest ranking, causing YCT to state, “One could not get more conservative than Rep. Stickland in the 83rd {Legislature}…We endorse him and look forward to his bright future!”

According to YCT, “the race for Lt. Governor is the most competitive race this cycle.” Jerry Patterson and Dan Patrick came in 1st and 2nd respectively among votes cast in Texas. The incumbent, David Dewhurst, seemed to have a bit of a problem in that he has significantly more support coming from outside the state of Texas than with in.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa echoed sentiments by Rep. Gonzalez regarding the straw poll results, releasing the following statement:

“They want the Hispanic community's vote, at the same time that they're begging for the endorsement of anti-immigrant extremists.

All four Republican Lt. Governor candidates think that Texas DREAM Act scholars should have their educational opportunities ripped away from them.

Greg Abbott refuses to even address the futures of these students.”

For the record that's more than 20,000 students currently enrolled through the Texas DREAM Act according to the Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Before growing calls for immigration reform these DREAMers were relegated to the shadows and bound to silence — a status now seemingly reserved for Greg Abbott.

You can see the full YCT straw poll results here.

You can follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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