Lt gov candidate debate--not if, but when?

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Via Texas State Senate website

Update: Aug. 14, 2014, 4:10 p.m.

Save the date, everyone! Both lieutenant governor campaigns have confirmed that Democratic nominee Leticia Van de Putte and Republican nominee Dan Patrick will debate on Monday, Sept. 29, 2014, in Austin. The debate will be hosted and moderated by the Texas Tribune and broadcast live via KLRU, Austin's local PBS station.

Our original post continues:

After a few weeks of will they or won’t they, lieutenant governor candidates Sens. Leticia Van de Putte and Dan Patrick have agreed to one televised debate but still haven’t nailed down a date.

Alejandro Garcia, spokesperson for Patrick’s campaign, told the Current that the Texas Tribune and KLRU, Austin's local PBS station, extended an invitation to the candidates Tuesday and offered two date options--Wednesday, Sept. 24, and Saturday, Sept. 27. Late Tuesday evening, Van de Putte accepted for Wednesday, and mid-morning today Patrick's campaign accepted for Saturday. Unfortunately, two acceptances on different dates does not a debate make.

The two campaigns say they’re still trying to find a date everyone can agree on, including their hosts. Van de Putte’s spokesperson Manny Garcia said the campaign prefers Wednesday’s option “because it’s a weekday when more people can see and hear from candidates,” but Patrick’s campaign chose Saturday because “the first date falls on Rosh Hashanah,” according to a press release.

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Via Texas State Senate website

In late July, Van de Putte challenged Patrick to at least five debates to be televised throughout the state, including one in Austin during the Texas Tribune's annual Tribfest. Patrick's campaign did not respond to Van de Putte's proposal but did say earlier this week that scheduling and logistics were being worked out. The unscheduled Austin debate in question is separate from Van de Putte's original proposal.

Outside San Antonio and state Capitol circles, Van de Putte is virtually unknown. Mark P. Jones, professor and chair of Rice University’s Department of Political Science, said Van de Putte’s campaign needs the debates to “simultaneously introduce herself to statewide voters” and instill a negative image of her opponent. A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll released in mid-June showed Patrick leading the race with 41 percent, compared to Van de Putte's 26 percent, and Jones said that lead puts Patrick in the driver’s seat, like most other Republican candidates in Texas.

“If voters don’t know any more information that they do right now about Leticia Van de Putte and Dan Patrick, Dan Patrick has this race won,” he said.

Part of Van de Putte's original debate series proposal included one in San Antonio to be hosted by Univision, but Patrick's campaign declined. Manny Garcia with Van de Putte's campaign said the broadcast station and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will still host a town hall-style conversation with Van de Putte on September 12.

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