It’s hasn’t been the big issue in state politics that abortion and same sex marriage were in 2013. But teaching creationism in public schools could wind up being a big one in 2014.

The issue came up during the Republican Lt. Governor's debate in Waco, surprising candidate Jerry Patterson.

“I don’t think I’ve ever talked to Texans about creationism,” Patterson explained to KTRH. “I’m not sure there’s interest in it one way or another. It’s not something anyone talks about. I’m surprised the question came up.”

And he's been in politics for almost 30 years. But Harvey Kronberg at the Quorum Report told KTRH the creationism debate has been going on for years in education circles.

“Evolution has been the centerpiece with creationism as the sideline argument. It’s been an ongoing battle in the state Board of Education,” Kronberg said.

Kronberg says the fact it came up in the Waco debate shouldn’t be a shock to anyone.

“Because it’s a Republican primary the entire race for the last three month has been who can get to the right of each other,” Kronberg explained.

So will the issue pop up once the Republican primary comes to an end?

“It could turn into a huge issue. It goes to the very core of what Texas public schools could be about,” Kronberg stated.

Patterson, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and the other Republican candidates are jockeying for position to face Democrat Leticia van de Putte in the general election next year