The AP on Tuesday evening projected that Abbott won the Republican nomination as he runs for reelection this year in the nation’s second-most populous and second-largest state.
"Tonight, Republicans sent a message. They want to keep Texas on the extraordinary path of opportunity that we have provided over the past eight years," Abbott told supporters in his victory speech.
The AP called the GOP primary race minutes after projecting that O'Rourke captured the Democratic nomination. The former congressman from El Paso – who came close to ousting Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2018 Senate election before unsuccessfully running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination -- faced nominal opposition in his party's primary.
"THANK YOU, TEXAS! We are going to win this race with one another, for one another," O'Rourke wrote on Twitter.
But the conservative governor, a former state attorney general who's seeking a third four-year term steering Texas, was facing multiple primary challenges from the right, including former state Sen. Don Huffines, former Texas GOP chair and former Rep. Allen West of Florida, and conservative commentator Chad Prather.
According to the latest unofficial tally at this time this report was updated, with more than 90% of votes reported, Abbott was at 67%.
Abbott showcased his conservative record on border security, abortion restrictions, crime, election integrity and other issues that are top of mind with GOP voters, as he crisscrossed the state on an extensive campaign swing that wrapped up Monday evening in San Antonio.
"One of the greatest safety threats to all Texans is President Biden’s reckless and dangerous open border policy," Abbott argued in his primary night address. "But under my leadership, Texas is doing more than any state ever to secure our border. I deployed 10,000 Texas National Guard and DPS officers as part of Operation Lone Star."
And the governor reminded primary voters that he’s backed by former President Trump, who remains the most popular and influential politician in the GOP.
Texas is the first state to hold primaries in the 2022 cycle and candidates needed to top 50% to avoid runoff elections in May.
Abbott enjoyed large name recognition and campaign cash advantages over his GOP rivals, and most public opinion polling heading into the primary suggested the governor was in the driver’s seat to avoid a runoff.
Huffines, who conceded even before the final polls closed, argued in a statement that his campaign "forced Greg Abbott to deliver real conservative victories."