Dallas Morning News endorses Beto O’Rourke

The Dallas Morning News on Thursday endorsed Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) in his Senate race against incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzPoll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again Democrats veer left as Trump cements hold on Republicans O’Rourke heading to Wisconsin amid 2020 speculation MORE (R).

“The pivotal issue before our country is public leadership, and here we believe O’Rourke’s tone aligns with what is required now,” the editorial board wrote. “This inclusive and hopeful tone, along with O’Rourke’s approach of starting with shared principles and working toward solutions, offset any policy differences we have with him.”

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The editorial praised O’Rourke’s “demeanor” and endorsed a number of his policy stances, including rejoining the Paris climate accord, support for renewable energy in Texas and opposition to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE’s proposed border wall.

The Dallas Morning News wrote that while they align with Cruz on many issues, such as economic policy and job creation, the senator is a “cutting figure.”

“There is a set of principles we would like to restore in domestic politics that starts with building political bridges,” the board wrote, and described O'Rourke's “camaraderie” with political opponents as an “antidote to … political poison.”

“In the divisive times in which we live, we believe that tone and leadership are the top issues with which to judge these candidates' tenures in office,” the board wrote. “So we’re placing a bet on Beto."

The paper also endorsed Cruz's previous Senate opponent, Paul Sadler (D), in 2012, but backed Republican presidential nominee Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyTrump tweets video mocking Dems not cheering during State of the Union For 2020, Democrats are lookin’ for somebody to love Trump religious adviser calls anti-Trump evangelicals 'spineless morons' MORE in that same year.

The endorsement comes a week after the Houston Chronicle also endorsed O’Rourke. The Chronicle previously endorsed Cruz in his 2012 run.

Recent polls have shown Cruz with an edge over the rising Democratic star in the closely watched race. Texas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate in decades. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report has rated the race a "toss-up."

The RealClearPolitics average of polls shows Cruz with a 7-point lead.