Texas Candidates debate in Spanish!

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Thu Feb 21 13:38:36 UTC 2002

New York Times, February 21, 2002

           Texas Candidates to Debate in Spanish

           AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- In a historic event that shows the
changing makeup of the electorate, the two top Democratic candidates for
the gubernatorial nomination in Texas have agreed to debate in Spanish.
Tony Sanchez and Dan Morales agreed to hold two televised debates in
Dallas on March 1: the first in English and the second in Spanish.

           The agreement on Wednesday came days after debate plans were
abandoned when the Sanchez campaign accused the Morales camp of
negotiating in bad faith and of launching personal attacks.  The debate
would be the first time candidates for a major office in the United States
responded to questions and debated in Spanish, said Arturo Vargas,
executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and
Appointed Officials.

           ``It's history in the making. It speaks volumes about the
changing nature of, certainly, the Texas electorate and the national
electorate,'' said Vargas. ``It really just speaks about bringing new
voters into the process and engaging all Texans in elections.'' Morales, a
former state attorney general, is waging his campaign with far less money
than Sanchez and was hoping televised debates would help spread his
message. Sanchez, a multimillionaire, is saturating the state with paid TV
ads. In January, Sanchez reported spending more than $6 million to
Morales' $127,000.

           The Democratic primary is March 12. The winner faces Republican
Gov. Rick Perry, who is unopposed for the Republican nomination.

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