Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke had choice words for his opponent, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. “He’s a thug, he’s an authoritarian,” O’Rourke said during an interview with Texas Tribune CEO Evan Smith at South by Southwest on Saturday. O’Rourke cited the power grid failures in early 2021, accusing Abbott of not going after electricity companies for price-gouging and instead being paid off by them. “He’s taking millions of dollars in payoffs from these same people. I mean, he’s got his own oligarch here in the state of Texas.” O’Rourke specifically cited Kelcy Warren, who runs the Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners and who pocketed millions during the 2021 storms. Warren sued O’Rourke for defamation last month over his criticisms, and Abbott’s campaign rebuffed the Democrat in a statement Saturday. “It’s unfortunate Beto O’Rourke continues to run a campaign based on fear mongering and tearing down Texas,” it told the Texas Tribune.
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