Governor Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez will meet for a debate this Friday in the race for Texas’ governor’s mansion.
On Friday, Abbott and Valdez will meet for a debate hosted by KXAN in Austin. The debate will be the only meeting between Abbott and the former Dallas County sheriff and will focus on issues affecting the state of Texas.
The debate has gained notoriety, as supporters of Libertarian Mark Tippetts, the third and final candidate in the race, lobbied to have the contender included. The Tippetts campaign announced that Nexstar Media Group said the Libertarian candidate will not be included because he failed to meet guidelines set for attending candidates.
If Tippetts had been included in the debate, it would have marked the second time in the last four midterm cycles that a candidate not representing either major party was invited to a televised governor’s debate in Texas. Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton Strayhorn, both independents, were invited to a televised debate with Republican Rick Perry and Democrat Chris Bell in 2006. In that race, Friedman and Strayhorn netted 12 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Perry went on to win that race with 39 percent of the vote.
It is unclear where all the debate will be shown.