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Image: Beto O'Rourke
Beto O'Rourke speaks to supporters in Fredericksburg, Texas, on Aug. 17, 2022.Eric Gay / AP

O'Rourke launches Texas ad campaign as Gov. Abbott spends millions

Gov. Greg Abbott has spent over $2 million on TV ads this summer, while Beto O'Rourke has focused spending on digital advertising.

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Beto O'Rourke, the Democratic nominee for governor in Texas, launched his first TV ads of the campaign on Thursday.

One ad attacks Republican Gov. Greg Abbott over the state's new law banning most abortion, which went into effect this week. Multiple women appear in the ad to narrate, telling viewers, "Women all across Texas are no longer free to make decisions about our own body, no longer free to choose if a pregnancy is right for us or our families, not even in cases of rape or incest."

The second ad also highlights Abbott's abortion ban, with a lifelong Republican and lifelong Democrat sitting together to discuss their feelings about the law.

"I mean, this is a free country, we need a governor who gets that. That's Beto," the Republican says.

According to AdImpact, an ad tracking firm, O'Rourke placed over $40,000 worth of TV ads so far. He can still book more airtime, though.

Abbot has already spent millions on TV ads. Just this summer, his campaign has spent nearly $2.7 million on ads, largely on broadcast and cable networks, according to AdImpact. O'Rourke has spent $2.5 million on ads over the summer, but almost all of that spending has focused on digital ads.

One of Abbott's TV ads features his wife, Cecilia, telling the story of their life together.

"I learned what Greg Abbott was really made of when I saw how he responded to his paralyzing accident. His recovery took months, but he never gave up. And the joys of our marriage and adopting our daughter, Audrey, showed me the depths of his love and commitment."

She adds, “Hard work, perseverance, and family. That’s what defines Greg Abbott and how he governs Texas.”

CORRECTION (Aug. 26, 10:50 a.m.): A previous version of this blog post misstated the Texas abortion restriction criticized in Beto O’Rourke’s latest ad. The ad criticizes the trigger law banning most abortions that went into effect Thursday, not an earlier law that banned most abortions after six weeks.