The word is out: Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick doesn’t want to debate his opponent before Election Day.
That’s too bad. Actually, it’s a shame. Hey, I’ll even say it’s a disgrace to the cause of learning all we can about the individuals who want to represent us at the highest levels of state government.
Patrick, the Republican, is running against Democratic challenger Mike Collier, who has been needling Patrick for weeks about debating.
I cannot quite fathom why Patrick is so reticent. He comes from a media background; he was a radio talk-show host before entering politics as a state senator from Houston.
The Texas Tribune reports: “It’s no secret Lt. Governor Patrick relishes debates, but since his opponent shows no sign of grasping even the most basic rudiments of state government, our campaign has no plans to debate him,” Patrick strategist Allen Blakemore said in a statement to the Tribune. “There isn’t anyone in the Lone Star State who isn’t absolutely clear about where Dan Patrick stands on the issues. He told us what he was going to do, then he did it. That’s why Dan Patrick has the overwhelming support of the conservative majority in Texas.”
OK, I’ll come clean: He doesn’t have my support. He has sought to yank the state into far-right territory that makes me uncomfortable. The Bathroom Bill he sought in 2017 is the example of what I’m talking about. He sought to make it illegal for transgendered individuals to use public restrooms in accordance with their current gender; he intended to make the use restrooms that matched their birth certificate gender. The bill died in a special session.
That’s out of the way.
He should debate Collier. GOP Gov. Greg Abbott and Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez are likely to debate each other, even though Abbott is going to be the prohibitive favorite to win re-election.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, the Republican, will likely debate his Democratic foe, Beto O’Rourke. That contest figures to be a whole lot closer.
So, the lieutenant governor isn’t likely afraid to meet his challenger head to head. Why not just quit playing games, Lt. Gov. Patrick?
Step onto the stage and have it out with your challenger and make the case on why you should be re-elected.
And, yes, if that’s what happens on Election Day, it will be in spite of the ballot I will cast.