Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Tuesday that he has agreed to debate his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke on Sept. 30 in the Rio Grande Valley.
Beto O'Rourke says he's "looking forward" to debating Greg Abbott and, "holding him accountable for his indefensible record."
The O’Rourke campaign responded to Abbott's announcement by stating they would also like Abbott to “participate in three town hall-style debates in every region of the state during weeknights this fall, where they can take questions directly from their fellow Texans.”
So far, only a single debate has been agreed to by Governor Abbott. The debate in the Rio Grande Valley would be held at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg.
The announcement comes after mounting pressure from O’Rourke, who has been relentlessly campaigning across the state on his "Drive for Texas" tour, to hold town-hall-style forums with communities in multiple counties in his bid to unseat the incumbent governor. Recent polls indicate that O'Rourke is 5 percentage points behind Abbott, while he is outpacing the incumbent Governor in fundraising.
“For too long, Greg Abbott has been able to avoid accountability for his failed leadership on issues like education, healthcare, and the Texas power grid,” O’Rourke said. “Texans deserve to hear from both candidates about our vision for the future of our state.”
Abbott has been widely criticized by O'Rourke for his response to gun control in Texas, stating, "Abbott should have acted after five major mass shootings took the lives of our fellow Texans on his watch."
Meanwhile, Governor Abbott has some choice words for O'Rourke and the Democratic agenda he is running. Regarding his opponent in November's election Abbott has said, “Beto O’Rourke is a Texas-sized threat to our families, our freedom, and our safety,” Abbott went on to state, “O’Rourke wants to take away our guns, turn Texas into a sanctuary state for dangerous criminals, and impose socialized medicine that will bankrupt Texas."
Abbott has been critical of what he calls the Biden Administration, "failure to protect the border" and has said that, "Biden refuses to deploy the resources needed to secure our border".
The Governor has been focused on securing the border, and will most likely tout his, "Operation Lone Star" a response to an increase in illegal border crossings as a successful program for Texas border security.
O'Rourke is likely to point to the cost, to Texas taxpayers which is projected to be close to $12 billion and rising, as well as potential civil rights violations.
The two candidates will debate on September 30th in the Rio Grande Valley. This will be their first debate of the 2022 Texas gubernatorial election.
The election for Texas Governor is on Nov. 8 and early voting begins on Oct. 24.
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Are you looking forward to a debate between Greg Abbott and Beto O'Rourke?
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