AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott is endorsing conservative activist and Republican fundraiser Kathaleen Wall in a crowded GOP primary field to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Ted Poe.

Wall and her husband, Holloway Frost, have long donated generously to Republican candidates and causes, including $1-plus million during the 2016 election cycle.

She is among around 10 Republicans vying for Poe's Houston-area seat. Abbott said in a Tuesday statement that Wall is a conservative "champion."

Six Republicans and two Democrats are giving up U.S. House seats, nearly a quarter of Texas' congressional delegation. Many open-seat races feature fierce primary battles.

Abbott has largely avoided congressional endorsements, only backing Wall and Republican state Sen. Van Taylor's bid to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson of Plano.

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