A critical part of the blueprint for Democrats and Battleground Texas in turning Texas blue calls for increasing turnout in the Rio Grande Valley and other heavily Hispanic areas of the state. The belief is that many, if not most, of the Hispanic voting bloc would vote Democratic. Given that blueprint, it is odd to see the Wendy Davis campaign dodging the opportunity to debate Republican candidate Greg Abbott in the region. The dodge by the Davis campaign has led to the Editor of The McAllen Monitor to pressure the Davis campaign into accepting.
In his editorial, Carlos Sanchez wrote that the Abbott campaign reached out to him directly and asked if The McAllen Monitor would be interested in hosting a debate in the Valley. Sanchez told the Abbott campaign yes and went forward in pursuing Davis. According to Sanchez, the Davis campaign responded on April 8 saying, “We aren’t making any debate decisions at this time…However, this sounds like a very interesting opportunity and we will be in touch in the near future.”
In the weeks since the paper has not heard back from the Davis campaign about debating Greg Abbott in the Valley, a place that Democrats are hoping to secure and increase votes.
Not only did Sanchez reach out to the Davis campaign, but he attempted to reach out to others involved in Democratic politics in Texas. All said that it would be a great opportunity for Davis, but none felt as though they could influence her campaign.
Greg Abbott and his campaign have not only said they care politically about the Valley, but they want the region to weigh directly into the larger discussion. Questions remain as to why the Davis campaign balked at the offer. Are past losses coming back to haunt Davis in what Democrats believe to be a critical area of Texas? As The Monitor and Valley residents wait for Wendy Davis, pressure could continue to rise for her campaign to answer Greg Abbott’s challenge to debate.
Of the fourteen counties along the Rio Grande, Wendy Davis lost seven to a largely unknown and unfunded candidate on the night of the 2014 Primary Election. Davis faced Reynaldo Madrigal in the Democratic Primary. Madrigal had argued that Texans did not “see Wendy Davis as a leader, especially Catholics”, according to Breitbart Texas. Madrigal was quoted as pointing to abortion as the reason why. “But it’s just not Catholics, it is Baptists and people of other religions. They don’t support abortion, and Wendy Davis is an abortion candidate.”
Chad Hasty is the host of the Chad Hasty Show on KFYO-AM Lubbock. Follow Chad on Twitter @ChadyHastyRadio