Dem Primary Showdown in Texas Could Ruin Their Chances of Unseating Cornyn | NTK Network Dem Primary Showdown in Texas Could Ruin Their Chances of Unseating Cornyn

Dem Primary Showdown in Texas Could Ruin Their Chances of Unseating Cornyn

Both Democrats have prominent Democrat backers, and both have met with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Who will blink first?

By NTK Staff | 04.11.2019 @9:56am
Dem Primary Showdown in Texas Could Ruin Their Chances of Unseating Cornyn

Two Texas Democrats are openly mulling a run for Senate in the Lone Star State, hoping to win their party’s nomination to take on Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who is running for his fourth term, in 2020. If neither backs down, they’re setting the stage for an intraparty showdown that could hurt Democrats’ chances of winning the seat.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), the brother of former HUD secretary and current Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro, is “seriously considering” a run, as is MJ Hegar, a veteran who lost a close House race in 2018 to Rep. John Carter (R-TX).

Politico’s James Arkin noted that neither has officially jumped in the race, but if they both choose to, it could be very damaging to their general election prospects:

Neither Hegar nor Castro has announced they’re running, but both have met with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) to discuss it. And both have prominent Democratic supporters convinced they represent the party’s best option to turn Texas blue. But a divisive primary would likely leave the eventual nominee damaged and cash-depleted, making the uphill climb to unseat Cornyn that much steeper.

On top of a bitter primary battle hurting Democrats’ chances is the fact that Texas is a traditionally red state. No Democrat has won statewide there since 1994, the year George W. Bush won his first term as Texas governor.

That being said, Democrats are hopeful that the Lone Star State is trending in their direction. Mitt Romney won the state in 2012 by about a 16-point margin, whereas Donald Trump’s 2016 victory was by a 9-point margin. And Democrats picked up a couple House seats in the suburbs outside of Dallas and Houston.

At least one Democrat is happy to pick sides and thinks Castro would easily dispatch with Hegar. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), who recently declined to run against Mark Kelly in the Arizona Senate race, said he believed Castro “should jump in” the Texas primary.

“I think he would probably steamroll [Hegar],” he told Politico.

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