Senate Debate Features Lot of Agreement

Candidates debate in first of at least two planned before July 31 runoff

By Will Weissert
|  Friday, Jun 22, 2012  |  Updated 9:30 PM CDT
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Senate Debate Features Lot of Agreement

NBC 5

Republican U.S. Senate candidates Ted Cruz, left, and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst face off in a primary runoff on July 31.

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Bitter rivals for Texas' Republican U.S. Senate nomination have traded small barbs in a debate -- but largely agree on the big issues.

There were some fireworks Friday between former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. But they struggled to differentiate themselves on illegal immigration, health care and foreign policy.

Cruz is a tea party favorite, while the GOP establishment has backed Dewhurst. The debate at KERA in Dallas was the first of at least two planned before the July 31 senatorial runoff.

Dewhurst won last month's primary by 10 percentage points but didn't capture an outright majority in a nine-candidate field.

His race with Cruz mirrors campaigns across the country that pit veteran Republicans against little-known challengers, with both sides claiming to represent conservative values.

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