DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Ebola, ethics and education are among the issues that dominated the final debate between Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democrat Wendy Davis.

The debate Thursday night began only hours after federal officials confirmed that a patient in Dallas had the first diagnosed Ebola case in the country. Abbott and Davis vowed to keep Texans safe if there were more cases on their watch. Gov. Rick Perry spoke with director of the Center for Disease Control Tuesday, and remains in close touch with Texas state health officials who are working with their federal counterparts.

The fallout from a scathing audit of how Gov. Perry awarded a half-billion in taxpayer dollars to private businesses made this a livelier and looser meeting than the first debate. Davis says Abbott failed as a watchdog, while Abbott questioned whether she profited from deals.

With Election Day only 35 days away, Davis must now hope her performance closes the gap in the polls.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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