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Upstart Medina Out to Impress in Second Debate

Tonight, republican candidates for governor will square off for their second debate. Governor Rick Perry and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison are still the headliners, but observers are trying to figure out how Debra Medina could affect the GOP nomination. Shelley Kofler has more on what’s happened to Medina since the first debate two weeks ago.



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The first debate among Republicans running for Governor gave Tea Party activist Debra Medina a seat onstage with two of Texas most powerful officials, and a statewide audience Medina couldn’t afford to buy with TV ads.

Medina/ Jan. 14 debate:  “The answer is not more property tax reform. The answer is elimination of property taxes in Texas.”

Medina held her own and believes she must have struck a nerve with disaffected voters. She says the surge of new support was immediate.

Medina: “For the hour after the debate Debra Medina was the number one search on Google and for the remainder of the night number three.”

In the week following the debate Medina supporters contributed $100,000. From February to December of 2009 Medina only raised about $230,000.

She says traffic to her website has increased twelve fold.

Medina: “I think it’s a clear indicator our current officials have forgotten all about the principals and ideas they profess to be fighting for.”

Friday night in debate number two the 47-year old nurse and business owner wants to prove her January 14 performance wasn’t a fluke, and she wants to clear up something reporters have wondered about. Were she and Kay Bailey Hutchison teaming up against Rick Perry in the first debate? When Hutchison had a chance to quiz Medina she encouraged Medina to talk about Perry’s property tax record instead.

Hutchison/ Jan. 14 debate: “Ms. Medina, Governor Perry promised that property taxes would be cut by a third. What are people saying when you go to your meetings.”

Medina: “As those words came out of her mouth I thought, you are not really going to ask me this question. Because it was such a softball question. I see Kay Hutchison and Rick Perry as two sides of the same coin and I’m going to talk about that in the debate.”

What Medina hopes will happen is that she will further tap into the dissatisfaction some voters have with government. She sees herself as more than a spoiler who might throw the nomination into a runoff between Hutchison and Perry.

Medina: “We are going to win. We really believe that.”

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