HOUSTON — Republican Sen. Ted Cruz says he's willing to participate in a nationally televised debate with Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke — potentially raising the stakes on a Texas race already among the country's most-watched.

Cruz made the announcement while campaigning Friday in Houston. It came hours after O'Rourke announced raising a record $38.1 million over the last three months, tripling Cruz's total.

O'Rourke previously said he planned to appear at a town hall in the U.S.-Mexico border town of McAllen that will be carried live Thursday night on CNN.

The network had said it invited Cruz and he'd declined. But Cruz now says if O'Rourke wants a debate, he'll get one.

Cruz and O'Rourke debated last month but canceled a second one amid Senate votes confirming Bret Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. They also will debate Tuesday in San Antonio.