ARLINGTON (CBS11) – With little opposition so far in next year’s Governor’s race, the most high profile election contest in Texas will likely be for U.S. Senate.
Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso is challenging Republican incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz.
Both have been cross-crossing Texas, and O’Rourke acknowledges he’s got an uphill climb in this conservative state.
“Nothing that is worthwhile comes easy in life and that includes getting Texas and this country back on the right track. The gratifying part of this is that it is not on me, it’s on all of us.”
During a town hall meeting at UT Arlington with the UTA Democrats late Friday afternoon, O’Rourke attracted a standing room only crowd of 300 people inside a lecture hall.
O’Rourke says nearly 600 people attended a similar meeting in Plano Thursday night.
He’s got nearly $3 million in his campaign bank account, less than half than Cruz.
The Democrat says he isn’t taking PAC money and his campaign says he’s receiving donations from more Texans than Cruz.
The Congressman says he supports a single-payer healthcare system, operated by the government and funded by taxpayers.
He says he wants tax cuts for the working poor and middle class, not the wealthy.
O’Rourke believes his positions are popular.
“I think Texans get it. They’re well before the politicians and it’s really up to us to catch up and reflect that in the campaign’s we run and the way we serve and govern once we’re elected.”
So far, O’Rourke isn’t facing any Democratic challengers in the March primary.
So he’ll likely face Cruz in the general election next November.
Sen. Cruz may attract Republican challengers, including Stefano de Stefano, a Houston attorney, Dan McQueen, a former Corpus Christi Mayor, and Bruce Jacobson, a religious TV executive.
Candidates have until December 11 to file their paperwork with the Texas Secretary of State’s office.