Just days ago, Ted Cruz seemingly had no intention to go head-to-head with usurper Beto O’Rourke.
Then the third man on the U.S. Senator ballot stood up with firm resolution to take the sitting senator’s seat in the debate with O’Rourke.
The Cypress News Review found this interesting bit of recent political history from the Dikeman campaign. Give it a read:
Risk of Dikeman v Beto forced Ted Cruz to Debate Beto
After months of unsuccessful high profile attempts by Beto O’Rourke to bring Republican Senator Ted Cruz to the debate table, Cruz agreed to a series of debates with O’Rourke less than 48 hours following one letter to Beto from Libertarian US Senate Nominee Neal Dikeman, in order to forestall a potential Dikeman v O’Rourke debate.
As was reported in the Texas Tribune and others, Congressman Beto O’Rourke had been struggling to get Senator Ted Cruz to commit to debate since April without success, despite extremely strong polls for a Democrat in Texas. O’Rourke attempts included calls from the stump, media appeals, and a well publicized challenge to debate in Spanish, and had been picked up in hundreds of media sources. A formal proposal for 6 debates issued on April 24, asked for a May 10 decision timeline. Cruz successfully ignored the call for 91 days.
In the last US Senate race in Texas in 2014, John Cornyn delayed the single debate until Oct 24, 13 days before the election, until after the race was effectively decided. According to Texas Election Source, most Texas races have no debates as Republican candidates have used debate avoidance in a traditionally Red state to solidify a 24 year win streak.
However, on Wed Jul 25, well before analysts expected a Cruz response, with no new public action from the Beto O’Rourke campaign or polling changes, multiple media sources reported the Cruz campaign publicly agreed to debate O’Rourke five times. That was later negotiated down by Cruz to three, and when he later withdrew from one of the three, it was subsequently cancelled.
Two days prior on Jul 23, Libertarian candidate Neal Dikeman published an Open Letter to Beto O’Rourke, specifically excluding Ted Cruz, proposing 2 debates with O’Rourke, the first without Ted Cruz, the second with, at UT, Texas A&M, or Sul Ross State.
Within hours of publication on the 23rd Editor Thomas Warren of the Amarillo Pioneer ran the Letter as a guest column titled Dikeman: I’ll Debate O’Rourke. It was the only publication other than Nealdikeman.com and BetoforTexas.com that ran the letter prior to Cruz’s announcement.
Within hours of publication by the Pioneer, the official website of Beto O’Rourke’s campaign, BetoforTexas.com, quietly ran the Pioneer article on a back page, not their main press page, titled Dikeman: I’ll Debate O’Rourke, for an audience of one, Ted Cruz.
On August 10, Ted Cruz’s campaign manager Jeff Roe, met with Dikeman in Houston, and on a direct request to debate, communicated that Cruz would not agree to include Dikeman in any debates under any circumstances. At no point did any member of the O’Rourke campaign return our calls.
Finally around the time Cruz and O’Rourke publicly agreed to their debate schedule on Sep 14, and sometime after August 27, the O’Rourke campaign quietly took down the Amarillo Pioneer article from BetoforTexas.com, but neglected to delete the URL.
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