- Rick Perry: The incumbent and skilled politician seemed to answer most of the questions, while avoiding sound bites and campaign slogans. I'm not a republican, so he won't get my vote, but he was very polished and professional.
- Chris Bell: He did quite well, and up until this point I didn't know much about him. He didn't answer the first question that he was asked, but improved after that. I liked his position that standardized tests are overly emphasized in Texas, and less attention is placed on teaching core subjects.
- Kinky Friedman: The "anti-politician" strategy is working against him. He seemed ill-prepared for the debate, which left me with the impression that he didn't take it seriously. His answers did not demonstrate that he had more than a passing knowledge of current issues facing Texas. I'd hoped for more from him, but was disappointed.
- Carol Keeton Strayhorn: Her answers might make for good soundbites, and at one point I believe she quoted directly from one of her TV commercials. She was somehow able to answer every question by saying she was going to "Shake Austin Up". The constant repetition of the same theme was ineffective, and even painful.
The debates were a good introduction to the candidates, and now it's my responsibility to research them a bit more. Based on the content, I will probably look more into Chris Bell, since he's a Democrat and that's typically how I vote. Though I never completely rule out the idea of voting republican, the pro-life, pro-Christian, and anti-Gay rhetoric that's typical of that party means that a republican candidate probably won't get my vote anytime soon.