While Beto O’Rourke is passing on another U.S. Senate run, you should still be super excited about this U.S. Senate race because we are going to be landing one Hell of a candidate:
According to a source close to Castro, while the congressman has not finalized his decision, his mind “is virtually made up” to take on Cornyn.
Matthew Jones, Castro's campaign adviser, told The Texas Tribune that an announcement on Castro's decision will come “in the near future.”
The news comes as President Donald Trump vetoed a resolution authored by Castro to block the president's emergency declaration to build a wall along the U.S-Mexico border. Both Cornyn and Texas' other senator, Ted Cruz, voted against the resolution.
And if you’re like me, you’ve probably got this e-mail from Castro targeting Cornyn and his dumber and more arrogant Senate counterpart, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R. TX) on this:
Despite bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate voting for my plan to stop the fake emergency, Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz both voted against ending one of the most significant federal government land grabs in Texas history.
Both Cornyn and Cruz like to talk a big game about protecting individuals against government overreach — but when it came time to make a tough vote they sold out Texans and stood down to Donald Trump.
This fake national emergency is a dangerous power-grab. The fact that both Senator Cornyn and Senator Cruz were willing to sell out their principles, even though it means hurting Texans, is a chilling sign that neither has our best interests at heart.
Unlike them, I won’t back down when it comes to protecting our Constitution and protecting Texans.
With so much at stake, we can’t afford to fall short of the grassroots support we need to override President Trump’s veto.
Castro’s potential candidacy is a big fucking deal because as Larry Sabato points out, Texas will be competitive again:
Joaquin Castro’s candidacy also raises the prospect of more money flowing into Texas, Sabato said. “Even if a Texan isn’t on the national ticket, Democrats at the presidential level have every incentive to put money into Texas, even if it’s to give Trump a scare.” He also believes that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which helps fund races in states where Democrats have a chance of winning, will also begin investing in Texas for the first time in more than two decades.
The source said a timeline has not been established for Joaquin to formalize any announcement, but one Democrat who did not want to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on behalf of the congressman said that Joaquin has been reaching out and telling several key Democratic leaders in Texas that he has been leaning toward running. Castro’s decision may have become further solidified on Thursday after O’Rourke announced he was running for president. There had been speculation that O’Rourke may have taken on Cornyn following his 2.5 percentage point defeat to Republican Ted Cruz last year.
Mark McKinnon, a former adviser to President George W. Bush and currently a producer and writer for Showtime’s The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth, said shifting demographics will play a major role in next year’s election. “With demographic trends shifting toward Democrats in Texas, there’s only two ways for Republicans to run statewide anymore: unopposed or scared,” McKinnon said. “If Joaquin Castro gets into Cornyn’s rearview mirror, the senior senator better step on the gas.”
Castro enjoyed a significant and historic political victory on Thursday. The Senate voted 59–41 on a resolution that Castro initiated and got passed in the House to overturn Trump’s emergency declaration, which would allow the president to circumvent Congress and get additional funding for his border wall. The bipartisan rebuke heightened a standoff between the executive and legislative branches of government and drew Trump’s first presidential veto on Friday, which Congress is not expected to override. The judiciary will then likely enter the fray and decide if Trump’s declaration is executive overreach. Both Texas senators, including Cornyn, voted against the legislative measure—a vote noted by Castro. When asked about the Cornyn campaign calling out Castro’s “Democrat-Socialist agenda,” Castro’s political adviser, Jones, responded, “Joaquin was not the one who just voted to allow the federal government to take hundreds of miles of land from Texans.”
The initiative by Castro comes as the four-term congressman seems to be exerting significant political influence in the House for the first time as a member of the majority party. In addition to his role in the the constitutional debate, Castro is chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. He also serves on the House Committee on Intelligence and is vice-chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Additionally, he is campaign chairman for his brother’s presidential run—a role that may change if he launches a senate campaign.
Gilberto Ocañas, a longtime Democratic operative, said Cornyn’s vulnerabilities to a Castro campaign go hand in hand with Cornyn’s defense of Trump as the majority whip in the Senate, a leadership role that he left in December because of Republican term limits. “The most important thing is that he stands behind a president whose policies have hurt Texas, from attacking our largest trading partner in Mexico to attacking Hispanics,” Ocañas said. “Cornyn seems to lack the courage to represent Texas first.”
Rep. Joaquin Castro said Monday that his phone calls to Sen. John Cornyn on legislation to block the government seizure of Texans' land went unreturned, countering the Texas senator's claim that the two lawmakers and potential 2020 Senate race rivals had never worked together.
“@JohnCornyn – I’m the one who called you last week to ask you to vote for my bill against giving away hundreds of miles of Texas land to the federal government in a Washington power grab,” Castro (D-Texas) wrote in the tweet. “You never called me back. I don’t feel bad though; I hear it happens to lots of Texans.”
The retort came after Cornyn, a Republican, said on Monday that he didn't know Castro “very well” when asked about the Texas congressman's anticipated run to unseat him in next year's Texas Senate race.
“I really don’t know Congressman Castro very well. I’ve worked with virtually everybody else in the Texas congressional delegation but never had the occasion to work with him to my recollection,” Cornyn told San Antonio-based KTSA News. The four-term Texas congressman went on to retweet several accounts of Cornyn not responding to constituents.
Now Cornyn is awful but he isn’t as dumb or arrogant as Cruz. He can see that Castro is getting ready to take him on and he’s already running scared:
Texas Sen. John Cornyn is readying fire for a potential race against Rep. Joaquin Castro, according to a game plan laid out to the Star-Telegram by Cornyn’s campaign Monday.
Though Cornyn already faces a handful of Democratic challengers in 2020, Castro is the candidate both parties’ operatives say could instantly thrust Texas into another high-profile Senate race. He’s the only candidate Cornyn’s team has prepared attacks for so far.
Cornyn’s team plans to focus on votes Castro took against bills providing aid for Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey — at times separating Castro from other Texas Democrats.
It also highlights places where the San Antonio Democrat, who hasn’t faced a Republican challenger since 2014, sided with the liberal wing of his party on issues such as immigration and the environment.
Castro “is the most liberal member from Texas — even more than Beto,” said Cornyn’s campaign manager John Jackson, in reference to Democrats’ 2018 Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke. “The more Texans learn about his record the less they’re going to like.”
Castro will make his announcement soon but EMILY’s List is wasting no time getting ready to defeat Cornyn:
We just added Republican Sen. John Cornyn (TX) to our list of EXTREME anti-choice Republicans who we plan to replace with our women.
We put Cornyn “On Notice” for voting to take away health care from millions of families, supporting efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and undermining equal pay protections for women.
Cornyn has made his intentions clear: He'd rather vote in lockstep with Republicans' anti-choice agenda than fight for Texas' women and families.
We have our eyes on the Senate this cycle.
Last year, our women were responsible for the only Democratic gains in the Senate. This time, they can be the ones to flip it!
We're targeting seats like Cornyn's because we know pro-choice Democratic women have what it takes to win and will do a better job for Americans everywhere.
If you're ready to see women take back the Senate, donate $3 to help replace Cornyn and all of the Republicans we've put On Notice with pro-choice Democratic women:
the EMILY's List team