Previewing the Texas governor's debate

Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis shakes hands with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott after a debate on Sept. 19, 2014. (AP photo)
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis shakes hands with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott after a debate on Sept. 19, 2014. (AP photo)

In their last debate before the 2014 election, candidates for Texas governor will debate Tuesday night in Dallas. The two candidates couldn’t be more different.

Republican Greg Abbott is serving his third term as the state's attorney general and is a former member of the Texas Supreme Court. Abbot regularly talks up his conservative credentials, like suing the Obama administration 25 times.

Democrat Wendy Davis is an attorney and a Fort Worth state senator first elected in 2008. She drew nationwide attention in 2013 for delivering an 11-hour filibuster in the Texas Legislature that helped briefly derail restrictions on abortions.

PolitiFact Texas has been fact-checking the campaign and will follow the debate on Twitter.

Abbott’s statements have earned every rating on the Truth-O-Meter, including two Pants on Fire. (See Abbott’s full Truth-O-Meter report card.) Davis’ statements have earned every rating except for a True or a False, and she’s earned one Pants on Fire. (See Davis’ full Truth-O-Meter report card.)

Recently, PolitiFact Texas rated Pants on Fire a Davis claim about Abbott and Abbott surrogates dismissing the significance of incest and rapes. This came after a Half True for Davis’ claim in a previous debate, Sept. 19 in the Rio Grande Valley, that Abbott had stumped with a sexual predator. (The alleged predator was controversial rocker Ted Nugent.)

Both candidates also drew a Mostly True from claims in that debate. Abbott accurately referred to a cocaine-for-votes investigation in the valley, though we didn’t see how that linked to his support for the Texas mandate that voters present photo IDs at the polls.

Davis was right that the Republican Party of Texas platform calls for repealing the Voting Rights Act; we don’t know if Abbott agrees with the platform provision or not.

The winner in November will succeed Gov. Rick Perry. Perry, who might make another run for president, has been governor since 2000, just after George W. Bush resigned to move to Washington and assume the presidency. At that time, Abbott was a justice on the Texas Supreme Court. Davis was a member of the Fort Worth City Council.

Let PolitiFact Texas know if you hear a claim during the debate that makes you wonder by emailing the Texas Truth-O-Meter.