Abbott backs out of debate, accepts new debate invitation

DALLAS -- Republican candidate Greg Abbott confirmed that he accepted an invitation for a televised debate with KXAS-TV after withdrawing from a proposed debate hosted by WFAA-TV hours earlier.

Republican candidate Greg Abbott previously reversed his decision to appear in the only gubernatorial debate to be broadcast statewide on television.

Abbott and his Democratic opponent, Wendy Davis, had both agreed to participate in a roundtable debate in Dallas on Sept. 30.

But on Friday morning, Abbott's team reversed an earlier decision and said it will not participate alleging concern over the format.

"Due to our inability to agree on specific details of the format, Attorney General Greg Abbott will regretfully not be participating in the WFAA debate," said Robert Black, senior campaign advisor on Friday morning. He is Abbott's new debate consultant who joined the campaign on Aug. 4.

Hours later, Abbott accepted an invitation from KERA, NBC5/KXAS-TV, Telemundo 39 and The Dallas Morning News to participate in a statewide televised debate on Sept. 30, 2014 at 8 p.m. This is in addition to a statewide televised debate scheduled for Sept. 19, 2014 in the Rio Grande Valley.

Wendy Davis' Communication Director Zac Petkanas released this statement following Abbott's decision for a new debate:

"There have been reports that the Abbott campaign has 'committed' to another debate, but as we learned today Greg Abbott's commitments don't mean very much. Wendy Davis has already committed the evening of September 30th to a debate on WFAA. The station has asked to have a discussion on Tuesday, September 2nd to discuss options given the recent developments and, as Wendy Davis is someone who honors her commitments, the campaign looks forward to having that discussion."


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