In Texas visit, Donald Trump rallies Republican voters to deliver a GOP wave in November midterms

Former president Donald Trump criticized Democrats for a litany of issues Saturday, including inflation and immigration, during an Austin rally where he urged conservative supporters to help the Republican Party take control of Congress in November’s midterm elections.

“I ask you to get ready to work, get ready to fight, get ready to win — and win like never before,” Trump said to a crowd of thousands at the Austin Convention Center. “Together, we will take back the House, we will take the Senate, and we will take back our country.”

Despite losing reelection in 2020, Trump continues to have outsized influence among conservatives and his endorsements of candidates have carried significant clout in the Republican Party. The GOP is slated to increase their margins in both chambers of Congress after the November elections, as the party in control of the White House has historically performed poorly in midterms.

Trump touted several of his Texas endorsements on Saturday — most notably embattled Attorney General Ken Paxton, the state official Trump called “a fighter like no other” who is facing Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a GOP primary runoff this month.

[George P. Bush’s family name proves to be key obstacle in his race against Ken Paxton for attorney general]

The former president also reiterated his support for Sen. Dawn Buckingham in her quest to become Texas Land Commissioner, former state Sen. Pete Flores in his campaign to reenter the Legislature, Phil Sorrells in the Tarrant County district attorney race and Frederick Frazier in House District 61.

Early voting in the May 24 runoff elections begins Monday.

“Our country in many ways is being destroyed,” Trump said of Democrats. “The Biden disasters are too numerous to count, but inflation is the highest in nearly 50 years. Gas prices have reached the highest price ever in the history of our country, destroying families.”

Trump also touched on several flashpoint topics that have energized those on the far right, including public education, border security and voting integrity. He also raised his debunked false claims of the 2020 election being stolen.

“Under a Republican Congress, we will once and for all ban critical race theory in our schools and we will stand up for parental rights,” Trump said.

[What is critical race theory? Explaining the discipline that Texas’ governor wants to “abolish”]

Critical race theory is a university-level academic framework that analyzes intersections between race and law — and experts say it is not taught in K-12 public Texas schools. Texas lawmakers last year passed a law limiting how race and current events are discussed in public schools. They referred to it as the “critical race theory” bill, even though the term does not appear in the legislation.

Trump also said teachers shouldn’t be allowed to “teach transgender.” Florida lawmakers this year passed a bill that critics dubbed “don’t say gay” for its restrictions on teaching sexual orientation and gender identity. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he wanted to prioritize similar legislation in Texas next year.

“We achieved all sorts of things along the border. It was an incredible thing. It was an incredible period of time,” Trump said of his efforts on border security. “Biden is now systematically surrendering every single advantage that I really brilliantly got. They don't give me any credit.”

[Texas’ primary runoff election is May 24. Here’s what to know about voting.]

Not all seats in the center were filled Thursday. Several supporters streamed out of the event hall during Trump’s remarks, which capped off an all-day event featuring a slate of leading voices within the conservative movement — including Donald Trump, Jr., former Trump adviser Kimberly Guilfoyle and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The event was part of the larger America Freedom Tour, which aims to rally conservative energy around Trump. The tour will take its next stop in Memphis, Tennessee on June 18.

Tickets are on sale now for the 2022 Texas Tribune Festival, happening in downtown Austin on Sept. 22-24. Get your TribFest tickets by May 31 and save big!

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

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Stop dripping your faucets: Texas officials say the state’s water supply is at risk

First Texans lost their power. Now, they're losing their potable water.

After enduring multiple days of freezing temperatures and Texans dripping faucets to prevent frozen pipes from bursting, cities across the state warned residents on Wednesday that water levels are dangerously low and may be unsafe to drink.

Many Texas cities are issuing boil notices — asking residents to boil tap water for drinking, cooking, brushing their teeth and for making ice — as residents have been struggling to maintain power and heat while an unprecedented winter storm whips across the state.

"Water pressure is very low. Please do not run water to keep pipes from bursting," Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted Wednesday morning. "Turn off water if pipes have burst. Please contact us if you don't know how to turn off water. Be conservative on water usage today. It is needed for hospitals and fires."

Austin Mayor Steve Adler on Wednesday afternoon acknowledged that dripping faucets was the correct guidance earlier this week, but now it's in people's best interest to "shift gears and conserve water." The city is also calling for volunteers who can help transport people from their homes to warming centers.

Approximately 420 public water systems in 120 Texas counties have reported disruptions in service, affecting more than 8 million people, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, as of Wednesday afternoon. Activities such as showering and doing laundry are safe, but cities under water boil notices are asking people to conserve water if at all possible.

The loss of drinking water is a devastating blow to Texans who are still suffering from power losses in freezing temperatures.

Madie Leon Riley, a Pflugerville resident who has been without water since Monday morning, said she doesn't know when her faucet will be able to turn back on again — or when her toilet will be able to flush without melting top snow in it to keep water flow moving. Her mother and husband, who are currently living with her, are also boiling snow as back-up drinking water.

"No grocery stores are open in our area so there's no chance for restock even if you are one of the very few with a car that can make it the miles it would take to get water," Riley, a 27-year-old writer, told The Texas Tribune.

One Fort Worth resident reported a small "pencil-width" stream of water at their house. A Houston-area woman who lives near the Medical Center got water back for about an hour yesterday after, but said it was brown and undrinkable. A resident in San Antonio said their water froze even after running their taps.

On Tuesday, more than 200,000 residents of northern Fort Worth, as well as people in Keller, Southlake, Roanoke and other nearby communities were told to boil their water as power outages affected water treatment plants, the Dallas Morning News reported.

On the same day, several Houston-area municipalities, including the Pearland, Katy and Greatwood-Sugarland areas, have also issued the same instructions to their customers, the Houston Chronicle reported.

By mid-day Wednesday, Austin water was encouraging residents in southern parts of the city to boil water before drinking it — but maintained there's "not detected contaminants in the water we are providing."

"#AustinWater is asking customers in southwest #Austin and Lost Creek neighborhood to boil their water prior to using it for drinking or cooking, until further notice," Austin Water tweeted. "This boil water notice is currently in specific areas and is a precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of our customers."

The city of Arlington also issued a notice asking residents to boil water before consumption. Corpus Christi did, too.

For now, it's unclear when cities will be able to lift their water boil notices. While some parts of Austin have issued notices as a precautionary measure, other cities, like San Angelo, have gone days without safe drinking water after city officials found industrial chemicals contaminated the water system.

Kamala Harris to campaign in Texas as GOP support in the once-red state collapses under Trump: report

Kamala Harris, Joe Biden’s running mate and the California U.S. senator, will be visiting Texas on Friday, according to an email Biden’s campaign sent to Democratic lawmakers in Texas on Sunday.

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