Texas Elections 2018

Valdez agrees to debate Abbott on Sept. 28 in Austin

Lupe Valdez, the Democratic nominee for governor, has agreed to debate Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Sept. 28 in Austin.

Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez.
Texas Elections 2018

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz defeated Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke in the race for U.S. Senate. View full 2018 Texas election results or subscribe to The Brief for the latest election news.

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Lupe Valdez, the Democratic candidate for governor, has agreed to debate the Republican incumbent, Greg Abbott, on Sept. 28 in Austin, ending weeks of uncertainty over whether the two would face off.

Earlier this summer, Abbott announced his RSVP for the Austin debate, which is being hosted by Nexstar Media Group. A week later, Valdez accepted an invitation to a different debate — Oct. 8 in Houston — balking at the timing of the Austin debate, which falls on a Friday evening in the middle of high school football season.

While the timing of the Austin debate has not changed, Valdez claimed victory Monday in getting a Spanish-language media partner — Telemundo — for the debate. Valdez's campaign said Telemundo "will broadcast the debate live across the state on television and online, and provide a moderator and instantaneous Spanish translation for their viewers."

“I’m glad to announce that after weeks of negotiations, we have succeeded in making our debate with [President Donald] Trump’s favorite puppet governor more inclusive, representative, and accessible to Texans across the state," Valdez said in a statement that continued to press her desire for an in-studio audience and Spanish questions.

Abbott's campaign disputed the notion it had made any concessions.

"In a desperate attempt to show signs of life, our opponent’s campaign has finally agreed to debate after months of snubbing voters," Abbott spokesman John Wittman said in a statement. "Let us be clear – there have been zero concessions made by our campaign or by the hosts of the debate."