LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

DUNCANVILLE Tim Reed was a senior when Greg Abbott arrived at Duncanville High School in 1972.

Now, 41 years later, Reed carried his aging yearbook to an Abbott campaign stop inside Ben's Apothecary, an old five-and-dime store which has become a popular spot for locals downtown.

Reed's yearbook is unsigned by Abbott.

"They didn't do that stuff in Duncanville," Reed explained. "They gave us the yearbook after we got out [of school]."

Abbott was a 9th grader in the 1973 yearbook. He was also runner-up for "Most Handsome" freshman boy.

"Wow," Abbott said as he looked at the old pictures. "Unbelievable."

"There you are right there," Reed said pointing to a teenage Abbott.

"That is just stunning," the attorney general responded.

"You don't wear you hair the same way anymore," Reed said.

"I don't have as much," Abbott joked, laughing. "Thank you for bringing that. That was pretty cool."

The visit of the Republican gubernatorial race front-runner to Duncanville was more of a homecoming than a campaign stop.

Abbott shared the story of his paralysis and talked broadly about policy, but never offered specifics. He got the most applause after saying he would strengthen the state's southern border with Mexico.

Even in a sit-down interview with WFAA, Abbott never wavered from his message.

When asked how he is different from fellow Republican Gov. Rick Perry on policy, Abbott was careful not to criticize him. He said he wanted to continue to attract businesses to the state.

"Whatever your challenges may be, I'm the person who's going to be on the side to and empathetic to those who face challenges," Abbott explained. "Another way in which I'm different: I'm married to a Latina."

At Duncanville High, Abbott ran track, was president of the National Honor Society, and worked at a five-and-dime like Ben's Apothecary.

"Mr. Abbott, I will say if things don't work out in Austin, you'll always have a job in Duncanville," the store manager said to laughs before Abbott's 16-year-old daughter Audrey introduced her dad to the estimated crowd of about 300.

Duncanville is the second stop for Abbott on Tuesday's campaign swing. He started the day in Longview, where he spent his elementary years, and ended it in Wichita Falls, where he was born.

The attorney general is in the middle of a 10-city, five-day tour across Texas introducing himself to voters after declaring his candidacy in San Antonio on Sunday.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/politics/2014/08/19/14069476/