Texas Senate race heats up; East Texas party reps sound off

Texas Senate race heats up; East Texas party reps sound off

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - With just about two months to go, we are in the final sprint of the Texas Senate race. The most recent polls show Ted Cruz and Beto O'Rourke are neck and neck.

"It's an important position," said Michael Tolbert, the Smith County Democratic Party chairman. "Right now, we need representatives who will stand up to the corruption and lack of integrity that's coming out of the White House."

"I think Beto is optimistic about the neck and neck option," said Elisabeth Ayub with the Smith County Republican Party.

Both candidates have been criss-crossing the state as the campaigns enter their final months before the election.

"We've been traveling the state these last 16 months to show up and meet with Texans in each one of the 254 counties of the state. We've been back several times to places like Tyler, Longview, and Paris because Beto wants to represent all 28 million Texans no matter where they live in the state or what party they belong to if any at all," O'Rourke said in an email. "A sign of how important east Texas is to our campaign's strategy is the fact that we recently opened a campaign office in Longview followed by our fifth town hall in the region. And we'll definitely be back again soon!"

The Cruz campaign has not responded to interview requests.

In a state often considered the most reliably red in the country, the close race is getting national attention. With the polls showing the two essentially tied, many say O'Rourke has a chance. However, those on the other side disagree.

"I just see a lot of talking points when it comes to Beto," Ayub said. "I don't see a whole lot of movement in his regard."

Political analysts are calling Texas a tossup. The winner of this Senate election could ultimately determine which party holds the majority in the U.S. Senate.

"Every vote does matter," Tolbert said. "I assure you, if the vote was not important, they wouldn't be working so hard to take it away."

"I think it's important for anybody who is a voter," Ayub said. "No matter what their stance is or where they fall on the ticket. Whether you know they're just voting based off of one particular topic or one particular candidate. Get out and vote."

The last Democratic Senator from Texas was Bob Krueger back in 1993. Election day is November 6.

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