Waco: GOP, Democratic chairs start planning debates

Chairs of both the Republican and Democratic parties in McLennan County said Tuesday planning is underway for debates for candidates which likely will take place in January. (MGN/file)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Chairs of both the Republican and Democratic parties in McLennan County said Tuesday planning is underway for debates for candidates which likely will take place in January.

Democrats gathered at a meeting Tuesday intended to lay the ground rules for debates, party Chairwoman Mary Duty said, and Jon Kerr, chairman of the county Republican Party said he, too, is preparing an outline for debates.

The main focus of the debates is the race for U.S. House District 17, which now is open after U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan, announced several weeks ago he’ll not seek re-election.

Kerr said his list of candidates includes at least 10 names, “and maybe 11, if I have one more sign up,” He said.

Duty said three candidates have signed up on the Democratic side, and the filing deadline is next Monday.

“We just started working out the details on Tuesday,” Duty said, there is a wide array of candidates in several races and we’ve got some real choices to make.”

‘We’re just in the process of trying to nail all those details down now,” Ker said, “I’ve still got people talking about signing up.”

While neither party has yet firmed up a date, both chairs said January was a likely target.

Duty said Democrats already have begun early get-out-the-vote efforts by setting up a telephone bank to call prospective voters to get them registered or encourage them to vote.

“We run the phone bank two nights-a-week and we started this Thursday, then every Thursday and Friday night,” she said.