Standing room only to hear Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke in Lub

Standing room only to hear Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke in Lubbock

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Democratic candidate for Senate speaks to a full crowd inside the Cactus Theater in Downtown Lubbock. Democratic candidate for Senate speaks to a full crowd inside the Cactus Theater in Downtown Lubbock.
LUBBOCK, Texas -

A few hundred people piled into the Cactus Theater Tuesday with a couple hundred more left standing in the lobby and outside all attempting to get a glimpse of Democratic Senate candidate and El Paso Congressman Beto O'Rourke.

O'Rourke stopped in Lubbock as part of his 34 day grassroots drive across the state which started in El Paso and is traveling across West Texas. 

The area has seen little interest from Senator Ted Cruz and the congressman is attempting to take advantage of that.

"I grew up in El Paso where no US Senator ever opened an office," O'Rourke said. "We were the sixth largest city in the state. We went effectively unrepresented, unheard, unserved, in that community and I think a lot of people in Lubbock know the feeling."

During his campaign stop, the Democrat harked on issues such as climate change, gun control, health care, and immigration, specifically the 'zero tolerance policy' instituted by President Trump.

"The cruelty that we've inflicted on these kids, though it was the decision of one person, one man, the President of the United States, it is now a stain that each of us carry until we reunite 100 percent of those families, get those kids back to their parents, and make sure that we do this country and the generations that follow, make sure we do them right and make sure we do them proud," he said.

Throughout his speech, O'Rourke carried the theme of unity and bi partisan politics that left those in the audience feeling inspired. 

"This is JFK's second coming," said one man in the audience. "He could pass as a Kennedy but I think his charisma, his knowledge, his connection to the community, his connection to the common man is very evident when he speaks."

He has a lot of ground to make up if he wants to flip the state blue, accomplishing something his fellow partymen have not been able to do since the early 90s. He is trailing Sen. Cruz in every poll and faces an uphill battle selling his stances in the staunchly conservative West Texas.

"We're behind a little bit but we in Texas love an underdog and I think we're going to out perform the conventional wisdom and make sure that the moment the country needs us the most, that Texas stands up and delivers."

He and Cruz are scheduled for a series of five debates across the state, one of which is set to be in Lubbock. The final details of those debates have not been hammered out according to O'Rourke.

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