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Texas Senate seat competitive battle between Cruz, O'Rourke: A look at the candidates

Texas Senate seat competitive battle between Cruz, O'Rourke: A look at the candidates
By: Fox News Posted On: September 21, 2018 View: 11

Texas Senate seat competitive battle between Cruz, O'Rourke: A look at the candidates

Incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz is locked in a competitive race for re-election in Texas as Rep. Beto O’Rourke has outraised him and garnered national attention.

As the gap between the two men continues to close as November nears, Democrats see the Texas seat as one they can pick up to gain control of the Senate.

Fox News has ranked the Senate race as leaning Republican.

Read on for a look at the candidates.

Ted Cruz

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz has been in office since 2013. Prior to that, he served as the solicitor general of Texas.

Cruz, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2016, is attempting to hold onto his seat in what has turned out to be a tough election.

“We’ve got a race on our hands,” Cruz previously told Fox News. “If you're a wealthy liberal sitting in New York City or Massachusetts or San Francisco right now and you could defeat one Republican in the country, it'd be me, that's why the money is flowing in here.”


Despite being bitter enemies during the 2016 election, Cruz, 47, has embraced President Trump in his re-election campaign. In turn, the president has said he plans to hold “a major rally” in support of Cruz in October.

When Cruz first ran for Senate, he became known for bringing up the Supreme Court, especially as he argued before it on behalf of Texas so frequently.

A vociferous conservative, Cruz has campaigned on the need to secure the border while protecting gun rights. In the Senate, he sits on the Armed Service, Judiciary and Commerce, Science & Transportation Committees.

Beto O’Rourke

Rep. Beto O’Rourke has represented Texas’ 16th congressional district since 2013, which includes El Paso.

O’Rourke said he supports an increase in background checks for firearm purchases and federal research on gun violence while wanting to ban high-capacity magazines. He also wants to work to improve ObamaCare, expand Medicaid and find a way to citizenship for so-called Dreamers.

O’Rourke has said he doesn’t want to go negative in the race.

“The ad hominem attacks on character and dredging things up from 20 years ago, I could go down that same road as well. And there's a temptation to do that because that's how politics have been carried out in this country for as long as I can remember,” O'Rourke told The Associated Press. “But like so many people in this state, I'm sick of it.”


He’s garnered media attention as he narrowed the gap between him and Cruz. The 45-year-old has been likened to “The next Obama,” by Esquire and “Kennedyesque” by Vanity Fair.

In the House, O’Rourke sits on the Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

Before being elected to Congress, O’Rourke served on the El Paso City Council. His father was a Republican county judge in El Paso.

Fox News’ Peter Doocy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter: @K_Schallhorn.

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