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Sun Sep 30, 2018, 10:31 PM

Lupe Valdez Comes on Strong in Debate Against Greg Abbott. But is it Enough?

Even before the first question was asked in the Friday night governor’s debate at the LBJ Library in Austin, the outcome of the race between incumbent Republican Greg Abbott and Democrat Lupe Valdez was a foregone conclusion. To change that, Valdez needed to force a fatal mistake by Abbott. That didn’t happen.

Although a different Valdez showed up for the Friday debate than we’ve been seeing all year, she didn’t deliver the rhetorical knock-out punch that she needed. She started her campaign earlier this year as a bumbler who knew little about state government. In the debate, Valdez showed she has learned a lot and could put a human face on issues, while Abbott talked about them in a way that would make a bureaucrat proud. It was passion versus policy.

Their sharpest division occurred when they discussed the law known as the Texas Dream Act. The law allows undocumented youth to pay in-state tuition for college if they have graduated from a state high school. The bill was signed into law by former Governor Rick Perry.

Abbott said he would favor repealing the law because it contains a flaw—it requires a student to work on a path to citizenship. That is impossible, Abbott said, because federal law gives no undocumented immigrant in America a path to citizenship. “The legislators who passed that Dream Act, they had a noble cause behind what they were seeking to do, but there was a flaw in the structure of what they passed,” Abbott said. “The law that passed who said these students who received in-state tuition had to demonstrate that they were on a pathway to achieving legal status; however, there is no apparatus in the law to make sure that is, in fact, being done. Hence, the law as structured is flawed and has to be fixed.”

Read more: https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/lupe-valdez-comes-strong-debate-greg-abbott-enough/

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