DeSOTO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – For the first time since winning the Democratic Primary, Beto O’Rourke brought his campaign for U.S. Senate to Dallas County.

The Congressman from El Paso received a warm welcome from the crowd in DeSoto.

It’s the first time in this city as he makes his run across the state in an effort to unseat Republican Ted Cruz.

“It’s critical. I cannot expect to effectively represent anyone if I haven’t been here first to listen to them and understand what their expectations are of me,” said O’Rourke.

O’Rourke said he has visited 228 counties, leaving 26 more before he has visited all 254 counties in Texas.

screen shot 2018 03 29 at 5 51 47 pm ORourke Campaigns For US Senate In First North Texas Stop Since Primary Win

Beto O’Rourke campaigns in DeSoto (CBS11)

His campaign says 300 people RSVP’d to Thursday’s event, including Melba Addison, who hasn’t paid much attention to the race, and her niece Carolyn Smith, who brought her here.

“I just like him. I like what he says, and I’ve been kind of listening and telling people about him,” said Smith.

“It’s more like who do I agree with more, and I’m right now leaning toward him,” added Addison.

There are big differences between O’Rourke and Cruz on recent issues:

Cruz voted for the tax cut and against the $1.3 trillion spending plan President Trump signed.

Cruz described the bill as “drafted by the Swamp in the dark of night that will plunge our nation even deeper into debt.”

O’Rourke voted against the tax cut and for the spending plan. “I voted yes to support the first significant pay increase for our service members in a long time and I voted yes to make sure that Texas gets the funding and the services that the taxpayers of this state have invested in.”

This week, Senator Cruz praised the Trump administration’s plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, a request he made.

In a statement Cruz said, “It is imperative that the data gathered in the census is reliable, given the wide-ranging impacts it will have on U.S. policy. A question on citizenship is a reasonable, commonsense addition to the census.”

O’Rourke disagreed, saying it could jeopardize the state’s fair share of federal funding. “I want to make sure there is adequate federal support and the only way to get that is that no one fears the census taker. Everyone can be counted.”

Cruz will formally kickoff his re-election campaign next week, which includes a stop in Fort Worth Wednesday evening.

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