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Cruz, O’Rourke getting combative in close Texas Senate race

September 22, 2018

DALLAS (AP) — The surprisingly close U.S. Senate race in Texas is getting more combative, and Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke are staking their chances on two sharply different visions.

Their first debate Friday night reinforced Cruz’s doubling down on unabashed conservatism. He offered no compromise on hardline immigration measures or gun control, months after a mass shooting at a high school near Houston.

Cruz also didn’t answer directly when asked whether police violence against unarmed African-Americans was a problem — even though the event was taking place in Dallas, where tensions are still simmering over a white police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black neighbor in his apartment.

O’Rourke, meanwhile, defended legalizing marijuana and universal health care.

The candidates traded barbs during the debate, but neither called for middle ground.

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