In 2018, Colin Allred beat Republican Pete Sessions to flip a Dallas congressional district from red to blue.
Now the former NFL player and Hillcrest High School standout is considering challenging incumbent Ted Cruz for Senate in 2024, according to 11 Democrats and activists contacted by The Dallas Morning News. The move would put him in line to make history, or become the next candidate in a long string of Democratic Party disappointments.
Allred has been talking to strategists, donors and supporters across the state to determine if running against Cruz makes sense. At the same time, his media office has been in overdrive, distributing updates about his congressional work and stressing his bipartisan approach to problem-solving.
Other potential Democratic contenders include former San Antonio Mayor and former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and former state Rep. and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Allred worked under Castro at the Housing Department.
Already campaigning is businessman and former Midland City Council member John Love.
On the GOP side, Cruz told The Dallas Morning News last week that he would focus on running for reelection instead of another campaign for president.
See here and here for some background. I generally assume that these candidate speculation stories don’t happen without the potential candidate’s knowledge and blessing, if not actual participation. I don’t mean the “other potential candidates include” stuff, for which I’ll get to in a minute, but the “Person X is considering a run for Y office” stories, where there’s a main character and everyone but that main character talks about their political standing and potential future. Rep. Allred declined to comment for the story, as per the accepted norms and practices for this kind of thing (boilerplate statements about focusing on their job at hand, not thinking about next year, keeping all options open, etc etc etc, are within the bounds of allowed responses), but I feel confident saying he knew about it before he was contacted. He or someone employed by him is likely to have been the original source for the story. Doesn’t mean he will eventually run, just that this is what laying the groundwork for such a run often looks like.
As for the “other potential candidates” section, we know about Julian Castro, who among other things serves as the clear “just because you’re the one spotlighted in this kind of story doesn’t mean you’ll actually run” counterexample. I’ll need to see at least two more of those stories about Julian Castro before I’ll take them seriously. John Love announced his candidacy for Senate in 2020 but dropped out without filing. He has a campaign website this time, so if nothing else he should be mentioned in these stories going forward. I’ll need to check the Q1 campaign finance reports to see if he’s begun to raise money. As for Mayor Turner, that’s the first time I’ve seen his name mentioned in this context. I have heard that he was considering a run for SD15 in the event John Whitmire is elected Mayor, so maybe this is some confusion over that? I can’t see him doing this – he won’t have any time to campaign or fundraise before the end of the year, and especially if an Allred or a Castro is running that would be a huge disadvantage. I’ll be surprised if I continue to see his name connected to this race. But maybe I’m wrong, so leave a comment or send me an email if you know better.
One more thing:
Former Dallas County Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Neerman said Cruz would beat Allred. He said that Allred is largely unknown to most Texans and that Democrats aren’t in a position to boost his candidacy.
More Republicans vote in Texas statewide elections than Democrats, and the GOP is said by many consultants to have an advantage of over a million votes.
“If Colin were to call me and ask for my advice, I would say, ‘You’re in a safe seat. Build up seniority, and if the Democrats take back control, try to become a chairman,’” Neerman said. “I don’t think he has the ability to beat Ted Cruz on a statewide basis.”
I doubt Mr. Neerman reads this blog, and I would not take the word of a professional adversary in these matters, but that advice he’d give to Rep. Allred is basically identical to the case against his candidacy that I laid out in that Castro post above. If he were to ask me for my advice, I would never tell him not to run, but I would spell it out that way as the choice he has to make. We’ll see what he chooses.