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Dan Patrick Backs Out of Closed-to-Press Lite Guv Debate

by: Natalie San Luis

Tue Mar 18, 2014 at 06:00 PM CDT

If you are one of the 100 members of the C Club who had planned on seeing Dan Patrick and David Dewhurst duke it out tonight, you might want to make back-up plans.

Dan Patrick pulled out of the debate yesterday evening when he realized that the event would be closed to both the public and the media.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Allen Blakemore, Patrick's senior advisor, said, "When the Patrick campaign accepted the invitation, we failed to discuss the ground rules for press access."

The president of the C Club, David Peacock, disagreed, claiming that the organizations events have always been closed to the press.

Read more about the debate after the jump.

The C Club of Houston, a purportedly nonpartisan organization that seeks to "keep Houston politics fiscally conservative," planned for the debate to take place at Houston's River Oaks Country Club.

In a statement, Patrick said, "I appreciate the 'C' Club as an organization, and their members individually. I have had the pleasure of addressing this organization as their luncheon speaker in the past, and hope to have that same opportunity again. But debates among major candidates for statewide office are simply not done in private."

According to My San Antonio:

"I have made speeches all across Texas, and more often than not, they are not open to the press. That being said, I have never participated in a debate that was closed," Patrick said.

Patrick's political consultant, Allen Blakemore said he accepted the "C" Club invitation without discussing "the ground rules for press access.  I accept responsibility for that failure."

Nevertheless, Blakemore said the club's refusal to allow even a pool reporter to attend meant that Patrick  "must decline the opportunity to participate.

The candidates for Lieutenant Governor have debated on scores of occasions and will undoubtedly do so again."

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