It wasn't long after the Texas Attorney General wheeled on the stage of Houston's Armadillo that his teenage daughter rendered an already friendly crowd even friendlier.
"He dresses up on Halloween in some outrageous outfits, like an Army tank or a grocery cart," said Audrey Abbott of her wheel chair bound father.
It's a powerful tale of adversity overcome. A story most Texans will soon know, if they don't already.
"While I was out jogging that huge oak tree fell on me, crashed down on my back fracturing my vertebrae leaving me immediately paralyzed and I was never able to walk again," says Abbott of the life changing incident 29 years ago in Houston.
"You often have politicians talk about having a spine of steel. I actually have a spine of steel and I will put that to work for you and all Texans and your families," said Abbott of the metal rods surgically implanted in his back.
Stoutly pro-life, pro-gun, pro-business and pro-faith the Texas Attorney General promised a protection Governor Rick Perry has been unable to deliver in a decade.
"As your Governor I will protect our border. I will assemble the tools we need to stop illegal immigration and dangerous drug cartels and I will enforce the rule of law," said Abbott.
A tall order and one that might not sit well with a good many of the Mexican American voters Republicans hope to attract.
But Abbott claims he knows better than most where they're coming from.
"I have been married into the hispanic culture for 31 years. My wife is a Latina. If I'm elected my wife will be the first Latina first lady in Texas," said Abbott.
Pro hydraulic fracturing, pro tax relief and pro education reform Abbott brags he's sued the Obama administration 27 times on behalf of Texans.
He believes the best way to get this state's millions of uninsured coverage is with good jobs, not a major expansion of Medicaid.
"To expand Medicaid is to rearrange the chairs on the Titanic. That doesn't work.
If that line sounds vaguely familiar, it should. Governor Rick Perry has used a slightly different version.