Despite the threat of a storm, thousands of people descended on Vic Mathias Shores on Tuesday for a rally for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of 20 Democrats vying for the presidential nomination in 2020.
Warren talked about child care, student loans, her tax plan and her anti-corruption plan, which she dubbed “the biggest since [anti-corruption laws enacted after] Watergate.”
“It’s people who make money from the status quo [who] have figured out that it is cheaper to invest in politicians than it is investing in cleaning up your own business,” she said. “We are going to turn that around in a Warren administration.”
Warren also took questions from the audience. One woman asked what else could be done to address climate change.
“This is the ultimate threat and the problem is accelerating,” she said. “I have multiple plans for this because this is how we have to think about this.”
Gabriella Soza of Southeast Austin told KUT she started looking into candidates only recently and that Warren is her No. 1 pick.
“I wasn’t initially planning on backing anyone this early, but I’ve already gone all in and started purchasing T-shirts and aprons and all kinds of stuff,” she said. “And so I’m here.”
Soza said she was primarily looking to back a woman. She said she also supports Warren’s plan to deal with skyrocketing student debt.
Barbara Comstock, who was visiting from the Bay Area, attended the rally with her daughter, Chloe. Like Soza, she said she wants to see a female president.
“She’s really smart. She’s got solid plans,” Barbara said. “I think she relates to people, and I am ready for a woman in the White House.”
Chloe, a college student, said she likes all the candidates, but Warren is her favorite.
That was a common sentiment. Many voters said they prefer Warren, but are ready to vote for whomever gets the nomination.
“I will be a fan of whoever gets the nomination, and I will work my tail off for them,” Barbara said.
Larry Schuenemann, who grew up in Lockhart and now lives in California, was there with his son, Jordan, who lives Austin.
He said he’s deciding between Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, but he likes that Warren seems fearless.
“I’ve got some time to make up my mind,” he said.
His son said he has definitely decided to vote for Warren. He said his biggest issue is climate change and he likes that Warren is well-versed on a range of issues.
“She has a plan for everything,” he said. “That’s awesome.”
Warren, one of several candidates with ties to Texas, was a law professor at UT Austin in the '80s. She was part of a team of researchers who looked into bankruptcy filings in America, primarily among people in the middle class.
According to last week’s Texas Lyceum poll, Warren had about 15% support among Texas voters, following former Vice President Joe Biden, who led with 24%, and former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who had 18% support. Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who was the mayor of San Antonio from 2009 to 2014, garnered only about 4% support in that poll.
This post has been updated.