Marilyn Tennissen Jul. 15, 2013, 11:30pm

SAN ANTONIO (Legal Newsline) -- Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has officially announced he is running for governor in 2014.

The announcement came at a press conference in San Antonio on Sunday, only days after Gov. Rick Perry confirmed he was not running for reelection.

July 14 is also the 29th anniversary of the accident that left Abbott paralyzed, with steel rods inserted along his spine.

"On a steamy summer day like this, I went out for a jog," Abbott said to supporters. "While I was jogging, a huge oak tree suddenly crashed down on me. The falling tree crushed my spinal cord -- piercing my body with pain -- leaving me forever paralyzed. I would never walk again.

"Some politicians talk about having a spine of steel. I actually have one. I will use my steel spine to fight for you and for every Texas family!"

Abbott said he also has taken on the tough fights as attorney general.

"I've fought for justice in the courtroom and in our communities. I've fought for the constitutional principle of federalism by suing an overreaching Federal Government 27 times," he said. "I didn't invent the phrase 'Don't Mess with Texas.' But I have applied it more than anyone else."

The very day ObamaCare was signed into law, he took the president to court to protect citizens' constitutional rights, Abbott said.

As governor, Abbott said he will fight for working middle class Texans and help all Texans climb the ladder of success without "Obama-style mandates and handouts," but by getting the government out of businesses and reducing taxes on employers.

"Government is supposed to be on your side -- not riding your back," he said.

He plans to keep the Texas economy at No. 1 by reining in state debt and reducing the amount the state can borrow, and, as governor, will address the state's water reserves and its highways, he said.

Abbott said was ready to "launch a new era of education reform" with fewer bureaucrats and more teachers and stop educators from being forced to "teach to the test."

"It is this Texas: a Texas of boundless opportunity and limitless imagination; a Texas that champions the human spirit while weaving together the fabric of community; a Texas that attracts jobs, promotes opportunity and rewards ingenuity. That is the Texas I will lead as your next governor," Abbott said.

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