The two Democratic presidential candidates from Texas both made stops in the Metroplex on Saturday while out on the campaign trail.
Beto O'Rourke gave the commencement address to graduates at Paul Quinn College, and Julian Castro spoke to supporters in Fort Worth.
With more than 20 Democratic hopefuls in the race for the White House, each candidate is trying to do their best to stand out.
Castro and O’Rourke are just the latest in a string of candidates making stops in North Texas to get votes and help raise funds.
With less than nine months until the pivotal Iowa caucuses, there's a lot of work for candidates to do in the race to the White House.
At least four of the more than 20 Democratic candidates have made stops in North Texas in recent weeks.
Fresh off an event in Fort Worth Friday night, O'Rourke stayed in North Texas to deliver the commencement address at Paul Quinn College in Dallas Saturday morning.
“But we must also acknowledge that the work is far from over, that that bell reminds us not just of what we have overcome, but what we must still overcome in our lives,” O’Rourke said.
Speaking directly to the new graduates, O'Rourke touched on issues close to them, like student loan debt.
“In this country, there is $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loan debt,” O’Rourke said. “The cost of education makes it too hard for too many to be able to improve themselves at institutions like Paul Quinn College. We understand we have our work cut out for us.”
Meanwhile, Julian Castro was energizing voters at a local restaurant in Fort Worth.
“I'd like us to have honesty and integrity in the Oval Office again,” Castro said.
Castro announced on Friday that his campaign has reached 65,000 donors to essentially secure a spot in the first primary debate.
The former HUD secretary and former mayor of San Antonio is trying to continue building on that momentum in Fort Worth.
“They want somebody who can beat Donald Trump. I can go and get those 80,000 votes we lost by in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and I'm the only candidate that can offer a second path to victory for Democrats, which is to go get the 11 electoral votes of Arizona, the 29 electoral votes of Florida, and the 38 electoral votes of my home state of Texas,” Castro added.
SMU political science professor Cal Jillson says the next few months will be crucial for Castro, who is typically in the bottom half of recent polls, with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders leading the pack.
“O'Rourke is generally running around sixth, but Julian Castro is running around 15,” Jillson said. “Castro is going to have to make a decision about whether this presidential race is going to work out for him or if he needs to get out early and maybe think about the [U.S.] Senate race in Texas.”
The first Democratic primary debate is scheduled for June 26 and 27 in Miami.
There's only room for 20 candidates at the debates, with candidates qualifying based on polling and fundraising data, so they'll all be working very hard to secure one of those spots.