Texas governor wants to double state guard in wake of Harvey

Members of the National Guard arrive at Port Aransas after Hurricane Harvey landed in the Coast Bend area on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Port Aransas, Texas. The National Hurricane Center has downgraded Harvey from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm. Harvey came ashore Friday along the Texas Gulf Coast as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds, the most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. in more than a decade. (Gabe Hernandez/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wants to double the state’s unarmed guard forces, which were stretched thin by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath.

The Republican announced Saturday at a Veteran’s Day rally in Austin that if re-elected, he’ll seek to expand the Texas State Guard to 5,000 volunteer members. He says it would make Texas better equipped to handle the next disaster.

Abbott mobilized about 12,000 state guard and Texas National Guard members after Harvey battered the coast and left parts of Houston underwater.

Unlike the Texas National Guard, the state guard doesn’t carry guns and can’t be deployed outside of Texas.

Abbott is up for re-election in 2018 and has yet to attract a credible challenger.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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