The swirling force of Texas politics

Perry, Hutchison Agree to Argue in Public

By Omar Villafranca
|  Monday, Aug 31, 2009  |  Updated 2:19 PM CDT
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Perry, Hutchison Agree to Argue in Public

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Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, left, and current Governor Rick Perry, right, are going head-to-head in the race for Texas governor in 2010.

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Get ready to hear about chair heights, podium positions and question formats: Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison have agreed to their first debate.

The Belo Corp. will host the debate, although dates and times haven't been nailed down.

Perry was the first to talk about it, sending out press releases and Twittering about the debate.

Campaigns never miss a chance to jab their opponent, and Perry campaign spokesman Mark Miner took the first shot.

"The people of Texas deserve to have the issues discussed in an open forum," he said. "We are hopeful that Sen. Hutchison will leap at the opportunity to dispel concerns that her 16 years in Washington have left her out of touch with the issues facing everyday Texans.”

Hutchison's campaign spokesman Jeff Sadosky confirmed that the senator will be present and countered Miner's remarks.

"Sen. Hutchison looks forward to debating the issues with Rick Perry and plans to do so repeatedly over the next seven months," he said. "Of course, the more interesting debate could be between Rick Perry’s rhetoric and Rick Perry’s record. Having said one thing and done another on land grabs, border security, stimulus funds and taxes, it’s a crowded stage."

The debate invitation was extended by WFAA-TV "on behalf of four Belo-owned television stations in Texas and The Dallas Morning News."

The Dallas Morning News is owned by A.H. Belo Corp.

The campaigns were told the one-hour, prime-time debate would be offered to one television station and one radio station in each Texas city.

The debates will take place sometime in January or February, according to Michael Valentine, vice president of news for WFAA-TV.

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