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Texas Gov. Abbott, Challenger Valdez Closer To Debate

AUSTIN (CBSDFW/AP) — Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez appear closer to having at least one debate before the November election.

Valdez said Monday she had agreed to Sept. 28 debate in Austin that the governor had already accepted. The date is on a Friday night, when many Texans will be focused on high school football.

Valdez is the former sheriff of Dallas County and is a heavy underdog against Abbott, who's seeking a second term.

Abbott Press Secretary John Wittman gave CBS 11 News the following statement:

"In a desperate attempt to show signs of life, our opponent's campaign has finally agreed to debate after months of snubbing voters. Lupe Valdez's decision is not surprising given the grim public polling data, stories about losing her Sheriff-issued gun, and paltry crowds at her campaign events. Let us be clear – there have been zero concessions made by our campaign or by the hosts of the debate. This is another instance of Lupe Valdez being liberal with the truth."

Texas voters are likely to see few debates before Election Day. Other top Texas Republican incumbents have rebuffed debate invitations, and in the highest-profile race between Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic congressman Beto O'Rourke, both sides have yet to find agreement.

Four years ago, Abbott debated Democratic opponent Wendy Davis twice.


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