O'Rourke picks up third Texas newspaper endorsement over Cruz

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the leading newspaper in the third-largest county in Texas, on Friday endorsed Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) in his Senate race against incumbent Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzHow to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian energy Cruz calls for 'every penny' of El Chapo's criminal enterprise to be used for Trump's wall after sentencing Conservatives defend Chris Pratt for wearing 'Don't Tread On Me' T-shirt MORE (R).

“U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz represent the hard left and right of American politics,” the editorial board wrote. “Neither stands in the middle ground, where the real work is done to lead America.”

“But only O’Rourke seems interested in making deals or finding middle ground. That is why the El Paso Democrat would make the best senator for Tarrant County’s future, and the future of Texas,” the editorial board continued.

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The Fort Worth Star-Telegram noted that although O’Rourke’s “new way” campaign against politics-as-usual has captured attention and money, the paper added that much of what he says, particularly about immigration and health care, sounds “like what Texas business conservatives used to say before the emergence of New York Republican Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE.”

“U.S. Sen. John CornynJohn CornynGOP wants commitment that Trump will sign budget deal Hillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections Senators introduce legislation to boost cyber defense training in high school MORE says we shouldn’t deport Dreamer students over their parents’ mistakes. Former Gov. Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryHow to reduce Europe's dependence on Russian energy Senior Trump administration official to leave post next week Overnight Energy: Trump doesn't mention climate change in speech touting environmental policies | Green groups fight EPA's new FOIA rule | Trump emissions rollback hit with legal challenge MORE, now energy secretary, has said a border wall ‘doesn’t make sense,’” the editorial board wrote. “President George W. Bush endorsed a path to legal status for those who came illegally but worked peacefully, supported the economy and showed good character.” 

“These are the same Texas values that O’Rourke now defends,” the newspaper wrote.

Though the newspaper pointed out that Cruz and O’Rourke both support free trade, the editorial board claims the Texas Democrat would have “more room to oppose the president’s questionable trade and tariff decisions, which threaten Texas.”

“This endorsement did not come without some disagreement,” the editorial board continued. “Cruz is closer to Texas’ and Tarrant County’s views on issues related to faith and values, and also on energy policy.”

The newspaper went on to say that Cruz was elected with “no experience in any council or legislature, and it shows.”

“His intransigence prevents him from currying support or negotiating deals to help Texas,” the editorial states.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram previously endorsed conservative Republicans such as George W. Bush and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP rattled by Trump rally Romney: 'Send her back' chants 'offensive,' 'unfortunate' for GOP Trump's no racist — he's an equal opportunity offender MORE for president, in addition to Sen. John Cornyn and former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

But, in the Texas newspaper’s own words, Cruz “does not measure up.”

“This office needs a reset,” the editorial concluded.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s endorsement of O’Rourke arrives on the heels of The Houston Chronicle’s endorsement of the Democrat earlier this month and Dallas Morning News’s endorsement on Thursday.

The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Cruz with a nearly 7-point lead.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the race a toss-up.