Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz rally in Houston entering final full week of Senate campaign

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On the first and only Sunday of early voting, both candidates for the U.S. Senate were in Houston, urging those who haven't yet cast their ballots to do it.

Beto O'Rourke, the El Paso congressman and challenger, was campaigning in northwest Houston alongside Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. With the help of a bullhorn, he thanked supporters and praised their efforts.

"You are the largest grassroots campaign this state, perhaps this country, has ever seen," he told the crowd. He then told Eyewitness News about his four stops at polling places in Houston with nine days to go before election day.

"There is no place I would rather be and, as you know, from the turnout numbers that we've seen so far, we are far outpacing the 2014 midterm election," O'Rourke said. "We're not that far behind from 2016 presidential levels. People are standing up to be counted in this defining moment of truth. And I'm just so grateful to be a part of it. "

O'Rourke has been campaigning more than a year now. He's been all over the state and said he's ready for the stretch run.

"Sometimes you feel the miles, but more than anything else, I feel the energy of people," he said. "With nine days to go, we've got more than enough energy to see this through and cross that finish line before the other guy. "

The other guy, Sen. Ted Cruz, not only talked to voters on Sunday, he also voted. He spent time at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center on Wirt Road.
"Sunday afternoon is a terrific time where the lines have subsided some," he said.

He's also happy with the high early turnout.

"As Texans, I think there are a lot of issues that can bring us together. I think Texans overall, overwhelmingly, believe in common sense principles; low taxes, low regulations, lots and lots of jobs, defending the Constitution and our Bill of Rights. "

He too knows this is the stretch run for an expensive campaign, much closer than anyone might have thought a year ago, and for which both candidates are fighting hard these final days.

"We're continuing our bus tour through the valley and then out to west Texas and we're traveling the entire state of Texas," he said. "Encouraging people to come out and vote and vote your values."

Follow Tom Abrahams on Twitter and Facebook.

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