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 CruzBarr: 'I haven't looked into' whether Ukraine meddled in 2016 election Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence FBI head rejects claims of Ukrainian 2016 interference 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 TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe 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 RomneyPotential Dem defectors face pressure on impeachment Athlete Peter Frates dies of ALS after becoming face of Ice Bucket Challenge Ex-Rep. Scott Taylor to seek old Virginia seat 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.