AUSTIN (KXAN) - Attorney General Greg Abbott said he hopes to get at least four in 10 Hispanics to vote for him in next year's governor's race.
Speaking at the third annual Texas Tribune Festival on Saturday, the front-runner for the 2014 Republican gubernatorial nomination said his party needs to better brand its image within the state's fastest-growing voting bloc.
"My goal to get at least to the 40 percent mark," Abbott said.
He pointed out that he has done well among Hispanic voters in his races for attorney general. He did not mention, however, that in his two runs for re-election, he faced underfunded and largely unknown Democratic opponents.
Abbott will likely be challenged by former state GOP chairman Tom Pauken in the primary. Should be advance to the general election, conventional wisdom suggests he'd face Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, who is expected to announce her candidacy next week.
During his hourlong interview for the festival, which is co-sponsored by KXAN News, Abbott defended the state's Voter ID law from suggestion that it would harm minority turnout. He said the state was taking extraordinary measures to ensure that people without approved identification card get access to them.
He also predicted that the law would withstand the challenge posed by U.S. Attorney Eric Holder, who is among those who argue that it would disenfranchise some minority voters.
In another panel where the three Republicans planning to succeed Abbott as attorney general said they would continue the policies challenging what they consider needless federal interference in Texas' affairs.
State Sen. Ken Paxton, state Rep. Dan Branch and Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman all said too many federal mandates harm Texas' economic climate.
Davis is among the featured speakers scheduled for Sunday's agenda at the festival.
Emergency agencies from all over Hays County will be out in full force Friday at Dripping Springs Middle School as they take a new training approach to protect the lives of children.
An armed robbery in South Austin set off a search for two men with guns early Friday morning.
Ten-year-old Cameron Ferweda is a fan of action-adventure books. Of writing them, that is.
Two school buses and a car crashed on eastbound Parmer Lane near Ranch Road 620 on Friday morning but there were no reports of injuries.
A local road project more than two decades in the making won't save drivers as much time as many had hoped.
The University of Texas Board of Regents adjourned Thursday without taking action on the job status of embattled UT President Bill Powers.