FILE - In this Nov. 12, 2017, file photo, a memorial for the victims of the shooting at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church is shown and includes 26 white chairs, each painted with a cross and and rose, and is displayed in the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The anniversary of the deadliest church shooting in the nation's history _ when a gunman killed 25 people in the rural church near San Antonio _ is the day before the Texas Senate election between Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and rising Democratic star Beto O'Rourke. But you wouldn't know it spending time with either campaign. That massacre in Sutherland Springs, and another Texas mass shooting at Santa Fe High School near Houston about six months later, aren't the race's top issues. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

Mass shooting anniversary overshadowed in Texas Senate race

November 02, 2018 - 1:11 pm

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas' Senate candidates are seldom heard on the campaign trail referencing the deadliest church shooting in U.S. history, which marks its one-year anniversary on the eve of next week's election.

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz frequently criticizes Democrat Beto O'Rourke as being anti-Second Amendment. O'Rourke argues that Texas should lead national discussions on things like assault weapons bans and universal background checks.

But the debate seems more independent of the tragedy than driven by it.

On Nov. 5, 2017, a gunman with an AR-15 style rifle killed 25 people in a church outside San Antonio.

That massacre and another Texas mass shooting at Santa Fe High School near Houston about six months later that left eight students and two teachers dead, are not the race's top issues.