NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – In the hotly contested Texas Senate race, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke made their final push for votes in North Texas on Friday.
Before hundreds of supporters in Carrollton, O’Rourke spoke about his priorities: universal healthcare, paying teachers more and improving public education and granting a path to citizenship for those who were brought to the U.S. illegally at a young age by their parents.
O’Rourke also responded to undercover video by the conservative group Project Veritas, which claims O’Rourke’s campaign staffers admitted to spending campaign money on supplies for migrants heading toward the U.S.
“I think this is more Cruz and Trump and their partners trying to stoke fear and anxiety about immigrants,” O’Rourke said.
Earlier in the morning, O’Rourke said he’s comfortable his campaign has been above board and reported everything to the Federal Elections Commission properly. “To the best of my knowledge, and we’re looking at this, some money was spent on baby wipes and diapers and water for women and children who desperately needed them.”
On Friday evening, campaign spokesman Chris Evans said the money spent was less than $300 and that the items, including baby wipes, diapers, water, fruit, and granola bars, were donated to the Annunciation House, a humanitarian, nonprofit organization in El Paso.
Evans said the donation would be reported to the FEC.
As for the crowds and large early voter turnout that has far surpassed the last midterm election in 2014, O’Rourke said he’s encouraged. “I feel all the hope in the world right now. I’m as optimistic as I’ve ever been. If this continues, we win and I feel vey good about our prospects.”
At the same time O’Rourke campaigned in Lewisville, Senator Ted Cruz brought his bus tour to Fort Worth.
He reminded hundreds of supporters of the promises he made when he ran six years ago.
“I would fight everyday for lower taxes, less regulations, more jobs, secure the border, defend the Constitution and defend the Bill of Rights. And every day since then, I’ve kept that promise,” said Sen. Cruz.
Cruz didn’t answer reporters’ questions before he continued onto Athens and College Station.
FEC records show O’Rourke has raised more than $70 million between January 1 through October 17 of this year.
Cruz’s campaign says it’s raised about $40 million during that same time period.
On Friday, Cruz urged supporters to vote and he acknowledged his get out the vote effort was a tiny fraction of O’Rourke’s.
Despite the average of recent polls by Real Clear Politics showing the race growing tighter with Cruz leading O’Rourke by six and a half points, Cruz told the crowd he remained optimistic.
“We are going to win this race… and you know how I know? Cause this is Texas,” said Sen. Cruz.