Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he had filed for re-election ahead of the 2022 gubernatorial election in the state.
"I'm here today to officially sign the paperwork to run for re-election as governor of the great state of Texas," Abbott said in a video posted to Twitter Tuesday while touting the more than 20,000 signatures he had received to get on the ballot.
While there was little doubt Abbott would seek a third term as governor, the incumbent Republican has faced criticism from within his own party and is facing multiple challengers ahead of March's GOP primary.
One of Abbott's primary challengers is Texas Republican State Sen. Don Huffines, who in the past has taken aim at the governor for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Well, we don’t have a Donald Trump as governor. We don’t have Ron DeSantis as governor. We don’t have William B. Travis as governor. Unfortunately, we’ve got a career politician that’s a political windsock, a RINO," Huffines said during an appearance at CPAC earlier this year.
Huffines went on to accuse Abbott of shredding "our constitution," arguing that the governor's pandemic policies "put 3 million Texans on unemployment and dependent on the government in one day."
If Abbott were to get through the primary, his likely Democratic challenger is former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who ran a failed bid for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 and a failed U.S. Senate bid in 2018.
A recent poll showed Abbott with a comfortable lead in a hypothetical matchup with O'Rourke, gaining the support of 46% of registered Texas voters compared to 37% who said they would back O'Rourke.
Abbott officially kicked off his campaign by vowing to secure the border with Mexico and support law enforcement.
"I want you to know I am running for re-election to protect and secure our border. I'm running for re-election to support our police officers in the great state of Texas. And I am running to ensure that Texas remains a job-creation machine, leading the United States in job opportunity, " Abbott said in his announcement video. "Working together, we will keep Texas the best state in the United States of America."