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In tweet, President Donald Trump endorses four leading Texas elected officials

Photo: The White House

By Matthew Watkins | The Texas Tribune

Editor's note: This story has been updated throughout.

Four of Texas' top statewide elected officials have the support of President Donald Trump.

"I want to encourage all of my many Texas friends to vote in the primary for Governor Greg Abbott, Senator Ted Cruz, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton," Trump tweeted Tuesday. "They are helping me to Make America Great Again! Vote early or on March 6th."

All four Republican politicians Trump mentioned are running for re-election this year. All are heavy favorites in next month's primaries. But Trump's tweet left out the two officials facing the most competitive statewide GOP primary races in 2018 — Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

None of the endorsements is particularly surprising. Abbott met with Trump and several Cabinet secretaries Monday in Washington. And Cruz and Trump appear to have patched things up after clashing during the GOP's 2016 presidential primary season.

Cruz enraged many Trump supporters in 2016 by telling a national GOP convention audience to "vote your conscience" instead of explicitly endorsing Trump. But Vice President Mike Pence expressed the administration's support for Cruz this month, calling the senator "the pride of Texas."

The Texas politicians will likely welcome Trump's support. The president's approval rating among Republicans in the state is 83 percent, according to a recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Overall, an equal number of Texas voters approve and disapprove of Trump.

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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