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The lone scheduled debate between Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and former Dallas Co. Sheriff Lupe Valdez (D) was held Friday evening in an empty hall at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin. Guests of the campaign watched in an auditorium several floors below the candidates and moderators.

Valdez, who appeared to be reading from written notes, took several swipes at Abbott, who mostly ignored his opponent and instead focused on making his case for re-election. They clashed on immigration, Dreamers, gun violence, using the Rainy Day Fund for Hurricane Harvey relief (Valdez: “Governor, it rained!”), responsibility for high property taxes and Medicaid expansion. Neither candidate’s performance appeared to change the trajectory of this race.

Libertarian nominee Mark Tippetts was not included in the debate.

Meanwhile, the Abbott campaign announced he raised $5.5M between July 1 and September 27 and has more than $25.6M on hand.

HD89 open: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Murphy tax attorney and accountant Ray Ash (D) over Lucas community organizer Candy Noble (R).

HD102: The Dallas Morning News endorsed Rep. Linda Koop (R-Dallas).

SEN: Sunday’s planned debate between U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R) and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-El Paso) has been postponed because of the ongoing confirmation process of Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Meanwhile, Club for Growth Action released a new ad, “Not Cool,” attacking O’Rourke over eminent domain.

Mission: Testimony continued in the lawsuit alleging the June mayoral runoff was tainted by voter fraud. Attorneys representing former Mayor Beto Salinas called a series of witnesses who testified they were paid for their vote or were given illegal assistance by the campaign of Mayor Armando O’Caña or his family, reported KGBT-TV’s Sydney Hernandez. Testimony is expected to resume on Monday.

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