by Jack Fink | CBS11

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The sprint toward the 2018 midterm elections kicked into high gear on this Labor Day.

The leading gubernatorial candidates spent part of their day in the Dallas-Fort Worth area stumping for votes.

In McKinney, Governor Greg Abbott urged at least 800 Republicans to not let their guard down and to keep fighting for Texas. “Your fight does not require bullets. Your fight requires ballot. We need you to get the vote out.”

Even with millions of dollars in his campaign war chest, and polls giving him a sizable lead over former Dallas County Sheriff and Democrat Lupe Valdez, the governor isn’t taking anything for granted.

Abbott recently unveiled his first ad on TV featuring the state’s growing economy. “Here in Texas, jobs are booming, wages are rising, and unemployment hit record lows.”

At the AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast in Dallas, Valdez had a different message for the 600 supporters there.

She acknowledged the tough road ahead. “It is an uphill battle, there is no question. But tell me who doesn’t have an uphill battle. Texans know when it’s time for a change, and in 2018, it’s time for a change.”

Valdez says she’s not impressed by the state’s economic growth. “Who is it booming for? A certain percentage. We keep hearing of the thousands of jobs. You know some people are working two or three of those jobs just to make ends meet.”

The governor told supporters if they stay home, the state’s success is at risk of being lost. “Texas exceptionalism that makes us #1 is under threat, under assault in the next two months by liberals who are trying to impose socialistic policies on the great state of Texas and we are not going to let that happen.”

After he spoke, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Senator Ted Cruz addressed the crowd.

Governor Abbott said he wants to protect the other statewide and down-ballot candidates. “We need to make sure that Ted Cruz wins, I win, and all Republicans up and down the ballot.”

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