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The Texas Debates: Race for Lieutenant Governor

Airing on KUT 90.5 at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27

DALLAS/FORT WORTH — Jan. 21, 2014 — The four candidates in the Republican Primary for Texas Lieutenant Governor will square off in The Texas Debates: Race for Lieutenant Governor on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, at 8 p.m. CT. The one-hour live debate between Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, State Senator Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples will be broadcast on television, radio and streamed online. Voters have a voice in the debate: Questions for the candidates can be submitted via Twitter: @keranews using the hashtag #texasdebates. All submissions will be reviewed by the editorial staff prior to the debate.

The Texas Debates will air live on KERA-TV Channel 13, KERA 90.1 FM, COZI-TV Channel 5.2 and other radio and television stations around the state, and streamed live online at and The television program will rebroadcast on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 10 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 2 at 11 a.m. on KERA TV. KERA 90.1 FM will rebroadcast the debate on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 11 p.m. and at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 1. Video of the debate will be available for on-demand viewing at within 24 hours after the debate's conclusion. Spanish language translation of the debate will be streamed online at

The Texas Debates is produced by KERA in partnership with NBC 5/KXAS-TV, Telemundo 39/KXTX-TV, Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB), The Texas Tribune, Houston-Chronicle/San Antonio Express-News, Houston Public Media, KUT 90.5 Austin, Texas State Networks and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas (FOIFT).

The Texas Debates will originate from the studios of KERA TV in Dallas. (Due to space limitations, the debate is not open to the public.) The Texas Association of Broadcasters is funding the satellite distribution of the program to commercial and public radio and television stations statewide as a public service to media outlets in Texas. Stations have the option of taking the broadcast live or delaying it. The broadcast will be available in English and Spanish and will be closed captioned. The television broadcast can be heard in Spanish on the SAP channel of the debate feed. Real-time translation and closed captioning are provided by TAB, a service it has contributed for broadcast debates since 1998.

Locally, The Texas Debates will be simulcast on KERA FM (90.1 in Dallas/Fort Worth/Denton, 99.3 in Sherman, 101.1 in Tyler and 88.3 in Wichita Falls). The debate will be moderated by KERA Managing Editor Shelley Kofler. Questions will be posed by a panel of journalists:

  • Norma García, Telemundo 39/KXTX-TV
  • Peggy Fikac, Austin Bureau Chief at San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle
  • Ross Ramsey, The Texas Tribune Executive Editor

More information about The Texas Debates is available at, which will also provide live audio and video streaming of the debate the night of the broadcast.   


Shelley Kofler,  KERA Managing Editor and Debate Moderator, is an award-winning broadcast journalist and television producer with expertise covering public policy issues, statewide elections and presidential primaries for KXAS-TV/NBC-5, WFAA-TV/ABC and KERA.

Norma García is the main news anchor for KXTX Telemundo 39’s 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. weekday newscasts in Dallas-Fort Worth.  An award-winning journalist with 20 years of experience in television news, she is also the host of “Enfoque Dallas,” a political news magazine featuring in-depth analysis of current affairs with a specific focus on the Hispanic community.

Peggy Fikac is the Austin bureau chief for the San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle, covering government and politics. She previously was deputy bureau chief for the newspapers, which merged their Austin bureaus in 2006, when she was Express-News bureau chief. She has been a reporter for the Associated Press and Austin correspondent for three Rio Grande Valley newspapers.

Ross Ramsey is executive editor of The Texas Tribune and continues as editor of Texas Weekly, the premier newsletter on government and politics in the Lone Star State, a role he's had since September 1998. Before joining Texas Weekly, Ramsey spent 17 years in journalism, reporting for the Houston Chronicle from its Austin bureau and for the Dallas Times Herald, first on the business desk in Dallas and later as the paper's Austin bureau chief.


KUT News 90.5, a founding member of NPR, has won more than 100 state, national and international awards for journalistic excellence. KUT News uses the highest editorial standards to shed light on Austin’s civic challenges and opportunities and connect citizens to information they need to experience Austin, Texas. Learn more at

KERA is a not-for-profit public media organization that serves the people of North Texas. The station broadcasts to the fourth-largest population area in the United States. KERA produces original multimedia content and news, carries the best in national and international public television and radio programs, and provides online resources at and KERA-TV broadcasts on Channel 13.1. KERA-FM broadcasts on 90.1 in Dallas/Fort Worth/Denton, 88.3 in Wichita Falls, 100.1 in Tyler and 99.3 in Sherman.

NBC 5 / KXAS-TV is the award-winning NBCUniversal Owned Television Station serving the communities of North Texas with quality news and entertainment programming on NBC 5, COZI TV (Digital 5.2) and online at

Telemundo 39 / KXTX-TV is the Emmy award-winning NBCUniversal Owned Television Station serving the Spanish-language communities of Dallas-Fort Worth offering high-quality content including news, original productions and first class sports programming on Telemundo 39 and online at

The Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB) is a non-partisan, non-profit, professional trade organization representing the interests of Texas radio and television stations. TAB promotes and protects a favorable climate for free, over-the-air broadcasting and educates its members and the public about opportunities and advances possible through broadcast operations. TAB is dedicated to the preservation of rights granted to the news media and individuals under the Texas Constitution and First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Online at

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that promotes civic engagement and discourse on public policy, politics, government, and other matters of statewide concern. Our vision is to serve the journalism community as a source of innovation and to build the next great public media brand in the United States. Online at

The San Antonio Express-News and Houston Chronicle are two of the largest news organizations in Texas.  With a long history of aggressive coverage of state government and politics, the two Hearst newspapers are dedicated to providing news and information across multiple platforms – print and digital. and

Houston Public Media is comprised of Channel 8, News 88.7 and Classical 91.7.  These three public broadcasting stations, along with their internet presence, live streaming and podcasts, are supported by financial gifts from the community. Currently, Channel 8 reaches an average of 1.1 million viewers each week, while News 88.7 averages 315,000 weekly listeners and Classical 91.7 averages 112,000 weekly listeners. Houston Public Media stations are licensed to the University of Houston. Learn more at

Texas State Networks is the oldest and largest state radio network in the country with more than 200 news affiliates in Texas. A member of the National Association of State Radio Networks, TSN provides hourly newscasts, long-form and short-form news, sports and talk radio programs. NASRN affiliates include Texas State News Network, Texas Agribusiness Network and the Texas Rangers Radio Network. Online at

Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas is a nonprofit resource that encourages, sponsors and facilitates a greater appreciation, knowledge and understanding of the First Amendment. Working since 1978 to ensure that the public's business is conducted in public, the FOIFT's mission is to protect and preserve the state's open meetings and open records laws. Details are available at


Contacts: Christopher Wagley, KERA - Public Media for North Texas, (214) 740-9377; or Erin Geisler, KUT 90.5, Austin's NPR station, (512) 475-8071