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Texas Tribune to Sponsor Legislative Q&A

April 12, 2012

“The Hot Seat,” a question-and-answer session moderated by Evan Smith, CEO and editor-in-chief of the Texas Tribune, and featuring State Sen. Robert Duncan and State Rep. Drew Darby, will be open to the public 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 24, at Angelo State University.

Billed as “a conversation series about the 82nd Legislative Session … and the 83rd,” the program will allow area residents to both hear their elected representatives respond to issues facing the state and to ask questions of them as well.  The session is open free to the public in the C.J. Davidson Center in the Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont Drive, on the ASU campus.  A light meal with beverages will be available for participants, beginning at 11:30 a.m. with the program scheduled to begin at noon.  Individuals interested in attending should email to reserve a seat and meal.

The event is sponsored by the Texas Tribune, a nonprofit media organization focusing on state government and public policy and providing an online news service at  The April 24 session, hosted by Angelo State University, is one of a series of question-and-answer programs being conducted statewide by the Texas Tribune prior to the next legislative session, which begins in January. 

Darby, R-San Angelo, was first elected to represent House District 72 in 2007.  He is the founder of W. Drew Darby and Associates Law Firm and the owner of Surety Title Company and Double D Title Inc.  He served as chairman of a House appropriations subcommittee and vice chairman of the Transportation Committee during the 82nd Legislative Session. 

Duncan, R-Lubbock, is a practicing attorney who was first elected to represent Senate District 28 in 1996.  He previously served four years as a Texas House member.  He has served on the Senate Finance Committee since 2001.  Duncan has also served on the Finance Conference Committee, which finalizes the final appropriations bill and establishes the state budget. 

Before assuming his current position as a founder of Texas Tribune in 2009, moderator Smith spent nearly 18 years at Texas Monthly, ending his time with the magazine as president and editor-in-chief.  While he was editor, Texas Monthly was nominated for 16 National Magazine Awards, the magazine industry’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, and twice was awarded the National Magazine Award for General Excellence.  For eight years, Smith hosted the Lone Star Emmy Award-winning weekly interview program “Texas Monthly Talks,” which aired on PBS stations statewide.  He currently hosts “Overheard with Evan Smith,” airing on PBS stations nationally.  A New York native, he has a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Hamilton College and a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.