Todd Staples

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

A new poll from the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Tribune shows current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick are pulling away from Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the Republican race for lieutenant governor.

The new numbers show Dewhurst at 37 percent of the vote and Patrick close behind with 31 percent.

"We are seeing this shaping up to be another establishment incumbent versus tea party insurgent race," said professor Jim Henson, who heads up UT-Austin’s Texas Politics Project.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Republican candidates in the lieutenant governor’s race are spending big on their statewide TV advertising during the first week of early primary voting.

Professor Jim Henson with the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Politics Project said there is a calculated effort behind which cities they are spending the money in. Henson said how candidates allocate campaign resources among the different geographic urban areas is a big factor behind winning.

President Barack Obama addressed immigration reform Tuesday in his State of the Union address. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has indicated the house might take a piecemeal approach to immigration reform.

But in Texas, the race for lieutenant governor has turned into a four-way battle over who can sound the toughest against illegal immigration.

KERA

Republican candidates for lieutenant governor talked about everything from abortion to marijuana during the first statewide debate, but the one area that received little attention was education funding.

The first statewide debate started with questions about a state judge's recent decision to allow a Fort Worth family to stop life support for their 23-week pregnant mother after the hospital said it conflicted with one of the state’s pro-life laws. 

Current Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said the statue conflicts with other state laws.

Welcome to KERA's Texas Debates blog. Did you miss parts of tonight's debate featuring the four Republicans running for lieutenant governor? Or do you just want to watch the whole thing again?

The hour-long debate, moderated by KERA’s Shelley Kofler, aired live at 8 p.m. from the KERA studios in Dallas. You can watch the replay below. We live-blogged the debate -- scroll down to read a minute-by-minute account of the candidates' remarks.

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