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Abbott unveils TV ad in Spanish

PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — TITLE: "Contamos"

LENGTH: 30 seconds

AIRING: Univision and Spanish-language stations during the World Cup.

KEY IMAGE: Spoken entirely in Spanish, the ad opens with Greg Abbott's sister-in-law, Rosie Phalen, sitting in a kitchen and talking about first meeting the Republican nominee for governor more than 30 years ago. Abbott, who often mixes Spanish into campaign speeches but isn't fluent, is filmed chatting and laughing at a picnic with the family of his wife, who's the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants. "His values are our values. Faith, family and honesty," Phalen says in Spanish.

The ad ends with Abbott surrounded by his teenage daughter, Audrey, and others. Two are holding soccer balls as Abbott's logo appears onscreen with the words "para gobernador" (for governor).

ANALYSIS: Abbott's first television ad since winning the GOP nomination in March is a rebuttal to what critics and Democrats contend is the biggest problem facing Texas Republicans — Hispanic voters. The Texas Republican Party ratified a harder line on immigration in its party platform earlier this month, and the GOP is carrying a predominantly white slate of statewide candidates into November.

Abbott has said he wants to break the record for Hispanic support by a Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate. He and most in Texas politics considered the mark to have been set by George W. Bush in 1998, when some polls put him capturing as much as 49 percent of the Hispanic vote. Abbott hasn't used the same harsh rhetoric on immigration as others in his party, but has been criticized for using the phrase "third world" in describing corruption on the border. As attorney general, he's also defended redistricting maps that Hispanic civil rights groups say were drawn to weaken the strength of minority voters.

Abbott here is introducing Spanish-speaking viewers to his diverse family, which he often mentions while campaigning. If he wins in November, his wife, Cecilia, would be the first Hispanic first lady of Texas.

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