After a bit of a kerfuffle, Greg Abbott and Wendy Davis have agreed to terms for a statewide televised debate.
For a little while on Friday, it looked like there might not be a statewide televised showdown between the two Texas gubernatorial contenders after a campaign adviser for Abbott, the Republican state attorney general, told media that he was backing out of the previously agreed-to debate because of format concerns.
There was a surge of criticism — one Republican state senator told WFAA that Abbott’s move was “unconscionable” — and in the late afternoon his team announced he would appear in a statewide televised debate on Sept. 30 hosted by KERA, NBC5/KXAS-TV, Telemundo 39 and the Dallas Morning News.
Abbott and Davis will have another debate on Sept. 19 that, per the Morning News, will be broadcast in most of the state’s major media markets.
Abbott is the frontrunner against Davis, a state senator who rose to prominence when she filibustered a state bill to tighten regulations on abortion clinics.
Polls show Abbott with a commanding lead, but Davis’ national profile has drawn significant attention to the contest. The Democratic Governors' Association features her prominently on its website, even though she criticized it in April for not listing her race as a top opportunity.