Beto O'Rourke, Gina Ortiz Jones Won in Texas Primaries

A Democrat's Bid to Unseat Ted Cruz is Picking Up Steam

O'Rourke, a three-term congressman who had the backing of the national party, won about 62 percent of the Democratic primary vote Tuesday night, fending off a challenge from Sema Hernandez, who won almost 24 percent, and Edward Kimbrough with 14.4 percent. Ahead of Tuesday's primary, the Texas secretary of state's office noted that 465,000 people voted in the Democratic primary, compared with about 420,000 Republicans. "We expect that he will continue to lead a positive campaign and talk to Democratic voters all across the state". They hope to make progress toward that goal this year, and they were counting on a blue wave of enraged liberals to emerge in Tuesday's primaries as a harbinger of victory in November. O'Rourke-who, unlike Cruz, is from Texas-has explained that his parents began calling him "Beto", a common diminutive in Mexico for Robert, when he was a kid. Here are some things to know from the first state primary in the nation.

Senator Cruz said, "He is for amnesty and open borders, I'm for securing the border, passing Kate's law and stopping illegal immigration".

In Republican U.S. Rep. John Culberson's district in Houston, which Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, Democratic primary turnout was roughly five times higher than the last midterms.

O'Rourke, an El Paso congressman, has spent the past few months crisscrossing Texas to shake hands and tell people why he wants to serve them. In a third GOP-controlled district targeted by Democrats in San Antonio, Republican had the lower turnout. "And I think Texas wants to do that, and Texas, again, given our tradition of gun ownership and gun safety and responsibility, is in a flawless place to be able to do that".

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Another key contest is the Democratic gubernatorial primary, where the top two contenders in a crowded field are former Dallas County Sherriff Lupe Valdez, backed by the party's establishment, and Andrew White, who opposes abortion and whose father, Mark, was governor in the 1980s. Senator Cruz is a formidable name, nationally. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott also cruised to his party's nomination for re-election. Gina, Lizzie, and Lillian need your help to win their runoffs.

In an interview on CNN's "New Day" Wednesday, O'Rourke defended his gun control stance, noting that Texas has a "great tradition and culture of gun ownership", but that the state should take "leadership on the issue". That's 20 points more than the 40% that went to Democratic candidates. Richards won that race handily with 78 percent of the vote.

"It's Trump. It's Trump", said Veronica Escobar, who won her Democratic primary and is now poised to become one of the first Hispanic women to represent Texas in Congress.

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