Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke will appear onstage Friday evening in a televised debate in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.
The candidates will face off for the first — and likely only — time in advance of the Nov. 8 governor’s race.
Friday’s debate comes as Abbott recently increased his lead over former congressman O’Rourke from 7 to 9 points. According to a new poll from The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler, Abbott leads O’Rourke 47% to 38%.
Here’s what Texans need to know.
When and where is the debate?
The debate is scheduled to take place from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg.
How can I watch?
The debate will air on local Nexstar television stations serving 14 markets across Texas. Nexstar is partnering with KDAF-TV (CW 33) in Dallas-Fort Worth. A full list of partner networks is available online.
Nexstar’s national cable news network, NewsNation, also plans to air the debate, as do radio stations nationwide.
What will the debate cover?
Topics will include immigration, gun violence and abortion rights. Voters are submitting some questions in advance.
Abbott is expected to attack O’Rourke on issues including border security, energy policy, policing and the policies of President Joe Biden, while O’Rourke is likely to hammer the governor for failing to fix the power grid, as well as signing the state’s abortion ban and being unwilling to push policies that curb gun violence.
Who is moderating?
KXAN-TV news anchor Britt Moreno is the moderator, and panelists include Gromer Jeffers of The Dallas Morning News, Sally Hernandez of KXAN and Steve Spriester of KSAT-TV in San Antonio.
What do you think?
A group of undecided voters in D-FW will watch the debate live and provide feedback on candidates’ responses. Viewers will be able to watch their response live on the websites of all Nexstar partner stations.
Viewers can post their own thoughts on the debate with the #TXGovDebate hashtag on social media.
If you’d like to share your thoughts directly with The News, you can ask us questions here.
Election Day is Nov. 8. The deadline to register is Oct. 11. Early voting runs from Oct. 24 to Nov. 4.