Democrat Beto O'Rourke says he's not taking a negative approach going into his first debate against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
The congressman has denied a decade-old accusation that he pushed a project that would benefit his wealthy father-in-law. Cruz has revived the accusations as he tries to defend his Senate seat.
The debate Friday in Dallas is the first of three televised ones in Texas. Cruz will likely try to show voters a version of O'Rourke beyond the third-term congressman who has rejected outside money, has no campaign pollster and visited all 254 Texas counties.
National attention in the race has grown as O'Rourke has raised more money than Cruz. And polls have suggested a tighter race than expected in a state where Republicans typically win in landslides.