RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Rio Grande Valley has a history of hosting high-level political debates.

In December 1987, six of seven Democratic primary presidential candidates participated in a debate at the Pan American University campus in Edinburg.

The debate was the first presidential debate held in the Rio Grande Valley. The candidates answered questions and spoke on issues facing South Texas and the RGV.

Some of the presidential candidates included then Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and U.S. Senator and future Vice President Al Gore.

In September 2014 the Texas gubernatorial debate made history as it was the first gubernatorial debate held in the RGV.

The impactful debate was between now Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Senator Wendy Davis.

Fred Cady, a political science instructor at South Texas College, said there may be continued interest in making the RGV a future debate destination.

“For Republicans, they’ll choose the valley because they want to highlight immigration, they want to highlight what they see as borders that are not secure, that are open,” said Cady.

He said interest in the RGV comes from both sides of the aisle.

“For Democrats, there’s lots of talks that here in the valley and maybe Latinos nationally, especially working-class Latinos are trending Republican, and the valley is a place where they will need to give further attention if they are going to stop that momentum,” he said.

Cady said the Rio Grande Valley is a perfect setting for Governor Abbott and challenger Beto O’Rourke’s debate because it aligns with the issues they are looking to address.

The 2022 Texas Governor’s Debate will air Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. on NBC (23.1) and CBS (23.2) on channel 4.1, and in Spanish on Estrella TV channel 4.4.