Wendy Davis Proposes Six Debate Schedule; Greg Abbott Declines

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This morning, Senator Wendy Davis laid out her groundbreaking debate proposal for this year's gubernatorial election, which includes six debates, two town hall forums, and an English/Spanish simulcast—and Greg Abbott has already said no.

In a letter to Attorney General Greg Abbott, Davis wrote, “This November, Texans will elect a new governor for the first time in 14 years. Given the choice they face this fall, all Texans—not just a select few—should have the opportunity to hear directly from the two of us in order to compare our records and visions for moving Texas forward.

Read below the jump to learn more about Wendy Davis' debate proposal.Davis' proposal would reverse a 20 year Republican legacy of minimizing opportunities for the public to see candidates debate.

According to the Lone Star Project, for the past two decades, Republican candidates have either refused to debate their opponents or have asked their opponents to agree to ridiculous conditions: Clayton Williams, for example, told Ann Richards he would not debate her unless she signed a pledge to refrain from negativity.

In the letter she sent to Greg Abbott this morning, Senator Wendy Davis proposed to have several debates in different regions of the state so that Texas' diverse communities could “hear a lively exchange of ideas” between the two candidates.

The debates would occur in Houston, Dallas, El Paso, the Rio Grande Valley, Lubbock, and San Antonio between July and October.

“This process should be about engaging voters – no matter where they live, how old, how much they make, or what they look like,” Senator Davis tweeted today.

However, according to the Houston Chronicle, Abbott's campaign manager already replied with a resounding “no.”

“General Abbott has already committed to two statewide televised debates, and therefore we must respectfully decline your proposal,” wrote Wayne Hamilton. “As you know, two invitations for statewide debates were established weeks ago, and our campaign will not waiver on those commitments.”

No word yet on his excuse for being absent during the other four debates.

About Author

Natalie San Luis

Natalie is a native Texan, a feminist, and a writer, focusing on reproductive justice, race, and pop culture. When she's not writing (and sometimes when she is), she's brewing beer, drinking beer, and reading stuff on the Internet. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, xoJane, The Billfold, Culturemap, and E3W Review of Books. She tweets from @nsanluis.

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