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Texas Governor's Race A Whisper As Senate Battle Steals Show

Former Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez (left) and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The close U.S. Senate race in Texas has overshadowed Republican Gov. Greg Abbott's bid for a second term.

Abbott on Friday night will face Democratic challenger Lupe Valdez in their only debate. Valdez is the former sheriff of Dallas County and would become Texas' first Hispanic and openly gay governor if elected.

Abbott has been in a dominant position from the start. His campaign has a substantial financial edge and Valdez has struggled to energize Democrats.

Republicans haven't lost a statewide election in Texas in more than 20 years. GOP Sen. Ted Cruz, however, has acknowledged he's in a "real race" against Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

Campaigning is also intense in congressional districts in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio where Republican incumbents are at risk.