Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who attended a campaign fundraiser hours after 19 students and two teachers were shot dead in Uvalde, was reportedly at the fundraiser for hours.
The Republican governor, who initially said he stopped Austin “on the way” so that “people would know” he couldn’t stay, visited a fundraiser in Huntsville, 150 miles east of Austin, Dallas Morning News reported,
Records obtained by the outlet show that the governor, via a borrowed jet, arrived in Huntsville at 4:52 pm and did not leave until about three hours later.
Abbott could raise up to $50,000 at a private home event hosted by host Jeff Bradley, according to the newspaper.
Rene Eise, a spokeswoman for the governor’s campaign, wrote in a statement that Abbott’s “description of his movements that day is accurate.”
“Unlike Beto O’Rourke, who took advantage of the tragedy in Uvalde by ramping up his fundraising efforts and resorting to political stunts, Governor Abbott canceled all political activity, including fundraising,” Eze wrote.
Abbott’s Democratic rival in the gubernatorial election, O’Rourke, called the governor at a press conference the day after the shooting.
“It’s up to you. Unless you choose to do something different, it will keep happening,” O’Rourke said in May. “Someone needs to stand up for the children of this state or they are killed just like that. Will keep going like they were killed in Uvalde yesterday.”
Abbott, in interview with cans-tv Repeated Friday that he was fundraising to tell people what was happening in Uvalde and “questioned about him” at the event.
The report comes as criticism continues over the response of law enforcement to the Uvalde shooting. Uvalde school police chief Pete Arredondo led the outrage earlier this month for resigning from his city council position. Community members have continued to demand his removal as the school police chief and that other local authorities be held accountable.