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Texas Senate candidates debate election issues

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The race is on for the sole U.S. Senate seat on this election’s Texas ballot.

In a televised forum at the University of Houston , Republican Senate candidates Craig James, David Dewhurst, Tom Leppert, Ted Cruz and Democratic Senate candidates Paul Sadler and Sean Hubbard, shared who they were with Texas voters.

"I used to run from the fact that I was a football guy. I want to be the smart guy and I think that’s why I worked a lot of different jobs" Craig James, (R) US Senate Candidate, said.

Democratic Senate candidate Paul Sadler said, "The one thing I can tell you is I never walked off the [house] floor and turned my back on the children of this state."

Some candidates offered a glimpse into who they think their opponents are, specifically frontrunner Republican David Dewhurst.

"If you see someone who's got all the lobbyists behind them, you know what they're going to do in Washington," Tom Leppert, (R) US Senate Candidate, said.

"In the last three weeks, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has run over $2 million on nasty attack ads filled with lies, and they're all aimed at me," Ted Cruz, (R) US Senate Candidate, said.

The candidates all weighed in on some key issues affecting the state.

"I'm proud of the fact that we defunded Planned Parenthood, but we have found the money to fund the 130,000 women that were covered under Planned Parenthood," Dewhurst said.

Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Sean Hubbard said the state needs to place a renewed emphasis on education.

"The message we're sending to our students right now is: school doesn't matter. Your education doesn't matter. We have to change that if we're going to improve our schools," he said.

The forum was the final conversation with candidates before Texas primary voters head to the polls May 29.

During the broadcast, candidates were afforded the field equal air time, first in one-on-ones and then altogether given 30 seconds to answer each of the same questions. Many centered on how they’d work in Washington.

"I'm always willing to work with anyone, as long as they're willing to work with me and I don't compromise my conservative principles," Dewhurst said.

"As a senator my first and foremost thing is to push back, is to get rid of the EPA to allow us to drill," James said.

With a just a little more than three weeks till the election, the candidates say they'll continue crossing the state in hopes of securing votes.

The Harris County Clerk says despite the late primary, more than 31,000 voters have requested absentee ballots from his office. May 22 is the deadline to request an absentee ballot.

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