The Latest: Cruz says he’s willing to debate O’Rourke on CNN

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Latest on Beto O’Rourke’s record-breaking, $38.1M fundraising haul in his race against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (all times local):

4:20 p.m.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says he’s willing to participate in a nationally televised debate with Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke — potentially raising the stakes on a Texas race already among the country’s most-watched.

Cruz made the announcement while campaigning Friday in Houston. It came hours after O’Rourke announced raising a record $38.1 million over the last three months, tripling Cruz’s total.

O’Rourke previously said he planned to appear at a townhall in the U.S.-Mexico border town of McAllen that will be carried live Thursday night on CNN.

The network had said it invited Cruz and he’d declined. But Cruz now says if O’Rourke wants a debate, he’ll get one.

Cruz and O’Rourke debated last month but canceled a second one amid Senate votes confirming Bret Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. They also will debate Tuesday in San Antonio.

___

8:55 a.m.

Democrat Beto O’Rourke says he raised a record-breaking $38.1 million in the past three months, more than tripling the haul of his Republican opponent, Sen. Ted Cruz.

The Texas race for U.S. Senate has become one of the country’s hottest, and maybe its closest.

O’Rourke announced Friday that the funding came from more than 800,000 donors. The ex-punk rocker has become a star in national liberal circles.

His totals through Sept. 30 broke quarterly Senate fundraising records for non-self-funded campaigns.

Cruz previously announced raising $12 million over the same period. He’d correctly predicted that O’Rourke would triple that.

O’Rourke’s good news comes amid polls that have begun to show him trailing Cruz by about 10 points. No Democrat has won statewide office in Texas since 1994.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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