By Raisa Bruner
August 29, 2018

The race for U.S. Senator from Texas between incumbent Ted Cruz and current congressman Beto O’Rourke is tightening, with polls showing the opponents in a statistical dead heat as of Wednesday afternoon ahead of election day.

So the Texas Republican Party tried this week to get an edge on O’Rourke by circulating a series of old photos of the Democratic candidate. The series attributes O’Rourke’s seeming reticence to debate Cruz to some of his hobbies: in one, he’s posing as part of a band. In another, he’s chilling with a skateboard. The third is an apparent mugshot. (According to PolitiFact, the mugshot can be traced back to one of two mid-90s arrests; college student O’Rourke admitted to jumping a fence at the University of Texas at El Paso in 1995 and being charged for driving under the influence in 1998. Both incidences were ultimately dismissed.)

O’Rourke supporters — and even some self-identified Republicans — have responded by noting that these relatable tidbits from his past only add to O’Rourke’s appeal. A U.S. Senator with a punk-rock past seems to be an attractive concept to some vocal people online after all. And it’s inspired others to dig up footage of Cruz from his youth as well.

Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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