Travis County Sheriff’s Office offers retort to Abbott’s diss

Sally Hernandez at her swearing in ceremony as Travis County sheriff, Jan. 4, 2017 (KXAN Photo)
Sally Hernandez at her swearing in ceremony as Travis County sheriff, Jan. 4, 2017 (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott knew exactly what pot he was stirring when he recently spoke about Travis County and Austin’s tendency to be left-leaning.

During the Bell County Republic Dinner earlier this week, Abbott said, “as you leave Austin and start heading up north you start feeling different and once you cross the Travis County line, it starts smelling different and you know what that fragrance is? Freedom. It’s the smell of freedom that does not exist in Austin, Texas.”

In response, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office sent out a statement stating Abbott’s remarks “gave clues that his olfactory system detests local control.” While Sheriff Sally Hernandez isn’t quoted in the statement, it does say she will stand with those “who wish to take a deep breath and taste the sweetness that only true freedom can deliver.”

When Hernandez took office and changed the jail’s policy on how her department handles federal immigration detainers, Abbott has had his eyes set on Travis County. In January, Abbott said her policy will cost the sheriff her job. Once SB4 was signed into law this spring, Hernandez said she would comply with the law.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler also weighed in on Abbott’s dis of Austin. “I think it’s unfortunate when that happens,” Adler told KXAN. “The city’s doing great things. We’re making great contributions to the state. There are a lot of things here that are working really well.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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