Senator Ted Cruz and Congressman Beto O'Rourke squared-off Friday in their first of three debates in the race for Texas Senate. While the debate was held in Dallas, viewing parties locally, like at the Alamo Drafthouse were packed as people listened to what Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke said about key issues.
"We know what the parties wants them to say but I want to see what they say about specific things,” said Sean Henry, who showed up to the viewing party. Many who arrived at the viewing party were like Kasey Wenz who say they usually only watch presidential debates but recent polls between current Senator Cruz and Congressmen Beto O'Rourke have sparked their interest.
"I am excited to see what they have to say against each other," said Wenz.
The debate kicked off with the topic of immigration, specifically dreamers. "I think that we begin by freeing dreamers from the fear of deportation by making them US citizens so they can live to their full potential," said Congressman O'Rourke.
Senator Cruz holding onto his stance that there is a right way to enter the country. "You follow the rules like my father did who came from Cuba in 1957 when he came fled oppression and he came to Texas seeking freedom, We are a state and nation built by immigrants" said Cruz.
The topic of gun control also came into play. "The number one answer I got from the school at Santa Fe is more armed police officers in the schools," said Senator Cruz.
"Weapons of war belong on the battle field not in our schools," said Congressman O'Rourke.
Policy wasn't the only thing brought up at this debate.
Each candidate was asked to address an issue tied to them. For Senator Cruz it was his rocky relationship with now President Trump during the 2015-2016 presidential primaries. "I could have chosen to make it about myself but I think that would have been not doing the job I was elected to do," said Senator Cruz.
For Congressmen O’Rourke it was his DWI arrest back in 1998. "Driving drunk, which I did, was a terrible mistake but I was given a second chance I started a business with my friends in El Paso, I met Amy."
The debate ended with both candidates saying something they admire about their opponent.
O’Rourke started by saying how much he admires Cruz’s dedication to public service.
While Cruz said he admires how passionate O’Rourke is about his beliefs.
The next debate is scheduled for September 30th in Houston. The third and final debate will take place on October 16th in San Antonio. Early voting in Texas begins October 22nd. Election day is November 6th.