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COPE Convention to Host First U.S. Senate Debate

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Jan. 18, 2024


News Release


Contacts: Rick Levy,

Leonard Aguilar or Ed Sills,

(512) 477-6195;

Sills cell: (512) 695-1148


COPE Convention to Host First U.S. Senate Debate


  The Texas AFL-CIO will host the first Democratic U.S. Senate debate of 2024 during its COPE Convention.


  The event is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 28th, at the DoubleTree Hotel,  6505 N. I-35, in Austin. Invited candidates are U.S. Rep. Colin Allred of Dallas, Sen. Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio, and State Rep. Carl Sherman of Lancaster. Participants were chosen based on polling of support among the Texas AFL-CIO Executive Board, which represents members from every region of our state and diverse union affiliate membership. 


  “The Texas AFL-CIO COPE Convention is proud to host the first U.S. Senate debate ahead of the March 5th primary elections,” Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said. 


  “As with past COPE Convention debates, we are confident these candidates will speak strongly to issues that concern working families,” Levy said. “Unions have an important role to play in the 2024 elections, and we are honored that the participants in this debate are taking their campaigns directly to the working people of our state.”


  The 75-minute debate will be divided into two parts: a short set of labor-related questions to be asked by Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy and Secretary-Treasurer Leonard Aguilar, followed by questions on broader topics from invited moderators Bob Garrett, Austin Bureau Chief of the Dallas Morning News, and Jessica Montoya Coggins, Executive Director of the Texas Signal Media Foundation. Candidates will make opening and closing statements.


  Media are invited to the event, and to the full convention. We ask that you RSVP at so we can set up sufficient space for reporters. We will designate space outside the convention room after the debate if candidates wish to speak with reporters.


  The debate will be live-streamed on Texas AFL-CIO Facebook and Twitter feeds.


  A full agenda for the COPE Convention will be posted as a news release next week.


  The Texas AFL-CIO is the state labor federation consisting of 240,000 affiliated union members who advocate for working families in Texas. COPE is the political arm of the Texas AFL-CIO.