Sue Perkins headed to the Arlington Music Hall Thursday to see Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.
The 60-year-old Flower Mound woman wanted to show the state’s junior senator that he’s got her vote in his re-election bid against challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-El Paso.
“I’m here just to support him,” said Perkins, one of hundreds who attended a Cruz campaign rally here Thursday afternoon. “It’s about showing him that people want Ted Cruz to win.”
This comes less than two weeks before the Nov. 6 midterm election.
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Cruz and O’Rourke are barnstorming the state, encouraging voters to join more than a million others who have already headed to the polls.
This heated battle has captured the attention of many across the country who want to see if Cruz will win his first re-election bid or if O’Rourke will be the first Texas Democrat in more than two decades to be elected to a statewide post.
“We are in the closing sprint,” Cruz told the Arlington crowd. “We are seeing an election that is about the direction of Texas and the direction of our country.
“The men and women here .... if we show up, if we turn up, if we bring our friends and family and neighbors, we are going to win this race.”
O’Rourke is scheduled to visit several Tarrant County early voting sites on Friday.
Happy with Cruz
Cruz focused on some of his core issues, including lower taxes, lower unemployment, support for the Second Amendment and a “booming” Texas economy.
But he said he’s concerned about the money in this election.
O’Rourke recently reported raising $38.1 million, triple the $12 million Cruz reported raising in the third quarter. That made this Senate race the most expensive across the country.
“That is dangerous,” Cruz told the crowd.
Republicans state Sens. Konni Burton and Kelly Hancock, Tarrant County Tax Assessor Collector Ron Wright and state Rep. Matt Krause of Arlington were among those supporting Cruz at Thursday’s rally.
“I don’t have to tell you what a critical election this is,” said Wright, who is running for the 6th Congressional District. “That blue wave they’re trying to generate in Dallas County is going to die right here in Arlington, Texas.”
John Davis, a 31-year-old Fort Worth man, was among those in the crowd.
“I support Ted Cruz,” he said. “His challenger, Beto O’Rourke, doesn’t have any new ideas.
“We are really happy with Ted Cruz as our senator.”
‘Texans rise up’
Cruz said he welcomes all supporters to his campaign, adding that he’s had people come up to him who have said they are lifelong Democrats but they are supporting him this year.
“Come join us,” he said. “We welcome you with open arms.”
This is good news, he said, at a time he believes the midterm election will draw more voters than many expect.
During the first three days of early voting, more than 1.5 million Texans — including more than 142,000 in Tarrant County — had already cast their ballots, state records show.
“Democratic turnout in November is going to be record-shattering,” Cruz said. “Every angry liberal in the state is going to turn out to vote.”
Cruz even said he believes the Hippie Hollow nudist park in Austin will be empty on Election Day. “Every one of those folks will be down there voting to turn Texas blue,” he said.
But Cruz said he’s confident because Texas is a conservative state.
“We’re going to win this race,” he said. “The reason I know that is simple. This is Texas and it’s in our DNA.
“Whenever liberty is threatened, Texans rise up to protect it.”