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Gubernatorial Primary Challengers Voice Concerns for Texas Soldiers

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Governor Greg Abbott talking during a press conference. | Image by LM Otero, AP

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Governor Greg Abbott is under fire from Republican gubernatorial primary challengers for his handling of Texas National Guard vaccine mandate and pay issues.

Policies concerning vaccine mandates have created tensions within the Texas Air National Guard and the Texas Army National Guard.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the Texas National Guard has been ordered to vaccinate their members or discharge them.

All the major candidates challenging Gov. Abbott have issued statements in response to the vaccine policies that Texas military departments are pursuing.

Former State Senator Don Huffines declared, ”Joe Biden’s immoral and unconstitutional vaccine mandate for the Texas National Guard is a clear and present danger to the sovereignty, safety, and security of Texas. Patriotic Texans who serve America and Texas should not risk losing their jobs because they have declined a COVID vaccine.”

Huffines added, “Greg Abbott is commander-in-chief of the Texas Military and took an oath to protect Texans’ rights. His continued refusal to take action against vaccine mandates puts our state and our citizens at risk at a time when the Texas Border is being invaded by thousands of illegal aliens every day.”

Former Texas GOP Chairman Allen West, who served in the U.S. Army as a lieutenant colonel, said, “It is highly disturbing that our Texas National Guard members are being ordered — mandated — to take a COVID shot. Unless on active-duty orders, the Commander-in-Chief of the Texas National Guard is the Governor, not Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.”

West added, “It is an unlawful, unethical, and immoral order to mandate, not for deployment purposes, that service members of the Texas Military Department receive this inoculation, especially when it wasn’t mandated for the invading hordes of illegal immigrants. As Governor of Texas, I will defend our Texas Military forces from this onerous and intrusive violation of the sovereignty of Texas. If it’s about the lives and health of my soldiers, I would go through hell with a can of gasoline.”

Conservative media personality Chad Prather criticized Abbott for not calling a fourth special session to tackle the issue of employer vaccine mandates. Prather stated, “Texas employers continue to carry out the mandates, and people are losing their jobs. Why hasn’t Abbott called a session to make this a law? I bet the Texas National Guard is wondering the same thing. His [executive order] is ineffective and worthless.”

In a similar vein, the Texas Military Department has experienced problems with paying guardsmen in a timely manner.

Huffines commented on the matter, “The news of pay issues within the Texas Military is entirely unacceptable. Those who serve our state deserve to be paid for their work. Greg Abbott must immediately rectify this issue.”

The former state senator added, “It’s not just the instability of the grid. It’s not just the allowance of transgender ideology and Critical Race Theory in our state agencies. It’s not just the failure to meet basic payroll of those he has called into service. On issue after issue, Greg Abbott demonstrates he is a failed leader, unfit for the job.”

West criticized the way Abbott and the Texas Legislature allocated funds, stating, “It appears that Governor Abbott is using the facade of COVID shot mandate to preclude paying members of the TXNG [Texas National Guard], and with threat of discharge. Maybe hundreds of millions of dollars from SB 8 should have gone to the TXNG and not for construction projects on college and university campuses?”

Prather commented on the National Guards’ payment concerns, “Why am I not shocked? It seems to me that the old adage that we pay for the things we value and invest in the things we care about should come into play in this situation. Unfortunately, this administration has proven time and again that when it comes to taking care of Texans in every role, they simply don’t care.”

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