Tablet Local

Debate about Texas debates?

John F. Cook wants to debate George P. Bush.

Both are hoping to become Texas’ next land commissioner, and Cook said it’s time for the two to square off.

So Cook, D-El Paso, started an online petition for Texans to sign to encourage Bush, R-Fort Worth, to debate him before the Nov. 4 election.

“JOIN US in Bringing George P Bush out of Hiding and into a DEBATE with JOHN F COOK,” says the petition, signed by around 300 people.

Bush’s campaign said the GOP candidate hasn’t been hiding. In fact, he has been talking to Univision about hosting debates, trying to schedule opportunities around his upcoming bus tour.

“George P. is looking forward to a debate,” his campaign spokesman Trey Newton said. “Mr. Cook is doing gimmicks to get media coverage while George P. is out meeting voters.”

A tough Texan

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price spent her vacation on a bicycle, battling strong headwinds to move across the state of Iowa.

“People would say it is a crazy vacation, but it is fun,” said Price, who went with her husband, Tom, on the cycling trip recently.

The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa, or RAGBRAI, is one of the best-known cycling events. A seven-day bicycle ride across the state, it is the oldest, largest and longest recreational bicycle touring event in the world, according to its website.

For Price, who sported her Bike Fort Worth jersey for the 81 miles July 21 and 48.6 miles July 22, the ride was a chance to share what is happening in Fort Worth. She was even touted as “RAGBRAI’s toughest Texan” in a video by The Des Moines Register, the sponsor of the race.

“It is great exposure and a chance to talk to people about Fort Worth, to tell them about what we are doing,” Price said.

Money matters

The race for Texas Senate District 10 is so costly that the candidates are helping foot the bill.

Since joining this race last year, Republican Konni Burton, a Colleyville grassroots conservative, has loaned her campaign $250,000, and Democrat Libby Willis, a longtime Fort Worth neighborhood leader, has loaned her campaign $88,250.

The contest for the post — which represents communities including Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and Colleyville — is a key because it could move Republicans closer to a supermajority in the Senate, essentially removing Texas Democrats’ ability to stop any proposal in the legislature.

For the entire year, Willis has raised $293,982 and Burton $279,121.

As of the last reporting period, which covered donations through the end of June, Burton had $45,364 cash on hand. Willis had $102,389 in the bank, according to reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.

Staff writer Caty Hirst contributed to this report.