Race for Governor: Republican Primary Debate

December 21, 2009

DALLAS/FORT WORTH: Republican candidates in the highly anticipated Texas gubernatorial race will square off in The Texas Debates: Race for Governor on Thursday, January 14 at 7:00 p.m. The live debate broadcast to millions on television, radio and online throughout the state will include two-term Texas Governor Rick Perry and three-term U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Final determination about other potential debate participants will be made following the January 4, 2010, filing period deadline.

The Texas Debates will air live on KERA-TV, KERA-FM and TXA 21 (KTXA-TV). Extended live post-debate coverage will continue on TXA 21 until 9:00 p.m., including the candidates’ news conference, with expert analysis and discussion. KERA-FM will broadcast analysis of the debate in the half-hour special The Texas Debates and the Republican Primary hosted by Shelley Kofler at 6:00 p.m. Friday, January 15. The debate will repeat on KERA-TV at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, January 17, followed by a roundtable discussion of the issues and debate analysis on Think with Krys Boyd at 11:30 a.m., and again on Monday, January 18, at 10:00 p.m.

The Texas Debates is produced by KERA in partnership with CBS 11 (KTVT-TV) and TXA 21 (KTXA-TV), Star-Telegram, KUVN Univision 23, The Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB), Texas State Networks and the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas.

The debate will be moderated by KERA News Director Shelley Kofler. CBS 11 News Anchor Doug Dunbar will host questions from the live audience which will include Republican voters from Denton and Tarrant counties. Questions also will be posed by a panel of journalists including:

  • Shelley Kofler, KERA-FM and KERA-TV
  • María Renée Barillas, KUVN Univisión 23
  • Dave Montgomery, Star-Telegram

The Texas Debates will originate from the Murchison Performing Arts Center on the campus of the University of North Texas in Denton. The program will be distributed at no charge to all commercial and public radio and television stations statewide as a public service, courtesy of the Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB). 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 broadcast can be heard in Spanish on the SAP channel of the debate feed. Real-time translation and closed captioning are also provided by TAB, a service it has contributed for broadcast debates of statewide candidates since 1998.

The Texas Debates will be streamed live at www.TexasDebates.org. The Web site will also provide a list of stations carrying the debate as that information becomes available, profiles of the candidates and the pressroom arrangements. Site visitors will also be able to submit questions for the candidates by e-mail. Spanish language translation of the debate will be streamed online after broadcast at www.Univision.com.

Shelley Kofler, Debate Moderator and Panelist, is an award-winning political reporter, television producer and KERA News Director with more than 20 years of experience covering North Texas. She served as moderator for The Texas Debates, guiding the debate between U.S. Senate candidates John Cornyn and Rick Noriega. Since joining KERA in 2007, she has been honored with multiple awards for excellence including the Edward R. Murrow Award, multiple Lone Star Emmys for governmental and political reporting as well as awards from the Associated Press and the Public Radio News Directors’ Association. Shelley has reported on numerous Presidential primary contests, conventions and elections as well as statewide and local campaigns. She previously covered government and policy issues for North Texas NBC affiliate KXAS-TV and ABC affiliate WFAA-TV, where she served as the station’s Austin bureau chief and legislative reporter.

Doug Dunbar, Host, co-anchors the CBS 11 News at 10:00 p.m., the number one newscast in the state of Texas. He also co-anchors the CBS 11 News at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and regularly contributes special reports on a variety of subjects. Doug is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and was part of the CBS 11 team which received a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence. From Cuba, to Haiti, to points around the United States and right here in Texas, Doug has covered many of the major stories of the last 20 years.

María Renée Barillas is a Reporter and Anchor with KUVN Univision 23. She began her journalism career in Guatemala and has covered politics and other issues of importance to Hispanics for more than 15 years. She has extensive experience in radio and television, including work as a general assignments reporter for Univision’s Los Angeles station.

Dave Montgomery, Austin Bureau Chief with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, has more than 40 years experience in journalism in a career that has stretched from the capitol in Austin to the Kremlin in Moscow. He was state capitol bureau chief for the Dallas Times Herald for eight years in the 1970s, covering the aftermath of the Sharpstown stock fraud scandal and the election of Bill Clements as the first Republican governor since reconstruction. Montgomery spent 20 years in Washington, serving two stints as Washington bureau chief for the Star-Telegram during four presidential administrations from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. As Moscow bureau chief for Knight Ridder from 1998 to 2002, he covered the emergence of Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin, the Russian financial crisis, the Kursk submarine disaster and Russia’s second war in Chechnya. He has also covered terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia.

Rick Thompson, Executive Producer of The Texas Debates and KERA’s Director of Multimedia Content, is an award-winning producer who oversees production of public affairs specials and the series CEO with host Lee Cullum and Think with host Krys Boyd on KERA-TV. With more than 30 years experience as a producer, his previous credits include: The Economy: Facing the Mortgage Crisis; Richard Avedon: In the American West – A Twentieth Anniversary Special; The Texas Debates; Texas and the Latino Vote;and Finding Our Voice: The Dallas Gay & Lesbian Community. National credits include JFK: Breaking the News and Matisse & Picasso.

The University of North Texas is a student-centered public research university located in Denton, Texas. As one of Texas’ largest universities, UNT offers 97 bachelor’s, 101 master’s and 49 doctoral degree programs within the university’s 12 colleges and schools. Expert rankings in U.S. News & World Report put UNT among the top national universities that are “leading the pack” in innovative changes in academics, faculty, students, campus life, diversity and facilities. UNT is the flagship of the UNT System. The Murchison Performing Arts Center on the UNT campus is host to world-class performances by students, faculty, guest artists and community members. The Murchison Performing Arts Center features two premiere venues: the Margot and Bill Winspear Performance Hall and the Lyric Theater. The views and opinions expressed by participants and representatives of The Texas Debates: Race for Governor do not necessarily reflect those of the University of North Texas.

The Texas Debates are made possible, in part, by Lockheed Martin, AARP and other generous donors from our community.

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, carries the best in national and international public television and radio programs, and provides online resources at www.kera.org. The station’s extensive coverage of the arts can be found at www.artandseek.org. KERA-TV broadcasts on Channel 13.1. KERA WORLD broadcasts on 13.2. 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. KXT 91.7 FM, KERA’s new music station, is streamed online at www.kxt.org.

CBS 11 (KTVT-TV) and TXA 21 (KTXA-TV) are owned and operated in Dallas-Fort Worth by CBS Television Stations. CBS Television Stations consists of 29 stations, including 16 that are part of the CBS Television Network and 13 that are affiliated with The CW Network, MyNetworkTV, or operate as independents.

Star-Telegram – The Pulitzer Prize-winning Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Tarrant County’s leading newspaper, is known as the primary news and advertising information source. It is the newspaper of choice throughout the greater Fort Worth/Arlington area and is distributed in 26 North Texas counties. In print and online, the Star-Telegram reaches more than one million readers over the course of a week, and is read by nine out of 10 newspaper readers in Tarrant County each week. The Star-Telegram is owned by The McClatchy Company, the third largest newspaper company in the U.S., with 30 daily newspapers, approximately 50 non-dailies and direct marketing and direct mail operations.

KUVN-TV / Channel 23, part of the Univision Television Group, owns and operates 63 television stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico. The station is owned by Univision Communications Inc., the premier Spanish-language media company in the United States. Its operations include Univision Network, TeleFutura Network, Galavisión, Univision Television Group, Univision Radio and www.univision.com. Univision Communications has television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States. Visit www.univision.net for details.

The Texas Association of Broadcasters (TAB) is a non-profit, professional trade organization representing the interests of radio and television stations in the State of Texas. TAB promotes and protects a favorable climate for broadcasting and educates members and the public about opportunities and advances possible through free, over-the-air 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 www.tab.org

Texas State Networks is the oldest and largest state radio network in the country with more than 122 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. The Texas State Networks include Texas State News Network, Texas Agribusiness Network and the Texas Rangers Radio Network. Online at www.tsnradio.com.

The 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 www.foift.org.