State of Texas: Debate brings new attention to Lone Star candidates

State & Regional

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) – The Democratic presidential debate held Thursday in Houston brought new attention to the two Texans in the race for the nomination. The Texas Democratic Party is hoping to turn some of that attention to other candidates running in the Lone Star State.

“I know y’all are on the leading edge of the effort to make sure Texas goes blue in 2020,” Julian Castro said early Friday in Houston. He joined other candidates to speak at a rally held just hours after the debate.

The Texas Democratic Party hosted the post-debate rally. The goal was to unify the party and stir support for candidates in state races.

For Castro and Beto O’Rourke, the debate was a new opportunity to boost their campaigns. Both are polling in the low single-digits. Both had some success creating breakout moments in the debate.

Castro made news by criticizing former Vice President Joe Biden, who is leading in many polls. He questioned Biden’s memory in a heated exchange over health care policy. Taking on Biden earned Castro attention in news coverage after the debate.

O’Rourke did not receive much speaking time during the debate. But he earned lot of attention for a quote on guns. “Hell yes we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” O’Rourke said, drawing loud cheers in the debate hall.

This week on State of Texas, we look closer at the viral moments for the two Texans, and how the debate could affect their campaigns moving forward. We also look at a potential GOP challenge for Sen. John Cornyn. And we look at why the legacy of T. Boone Pickens could affect your plans for retirement.

(Information from

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