Why Rafael Cruz goes by Ted and Robert O’Rourke by Beto

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Beto O’Rourke, facing GOP Sen. Ted Cruz on the November ballot, says he’s the tyke wearing the shirt with “Beto” stitched across it in this photo, which was shared by O’Rourke on Twitter March 7, 2018.
Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Beto O’Rourke, facing GOP Sen. Ted Cruz on the November ballot, says he’s the tyke wearing the shirt with “Beto” stitched across it in this photo, which was shared by O’Rourke on Twitter March 7, 2018.

Reader tweets reminded us that Texas voters choose in November between U.S. Senate nominees who don’t go by their given first names.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz seeks a second term against Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who represents El Paso in the U.S. House.

That is, Rafael Edward Cruz faces Robert Francis O’Rourke.

One reader asked on Twitter after 10 p.m. Aug. 15: "Why does Beto not use his real name?" Two minutes later came this counter-question: "Why doesn’t Rafael?"

Each candidate has offered his own accounting for the first name he goes by. Read our full recap here.