The Trib paints him as calm and collaborative, very much the opposite of the dramatic show horse Ted Cruz.
U.S. Rep. Colin Allred is gearing up to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2024 election, and the Democrat’s measured approach poses a sharp contrast to Cruz’s bellicose style.
Allred doesn’t shout during committee hearings or deride those he disagrees with — both signature Cruz moves. He hasn’t made headlines for epic political showdowns, nor has he positioned himself as a leader of an ideological movement.
Colleagues instead describe Allred as level-headed, eager to work across the aisle and accessible to constituents in his Dallas-based district.
“Knowing how to work with everyone, knowing how to listen to people, how to engage, how to come up with solutions, and really, how to bring people together — that’s what leadership is,” said U.S. Rep. Lizzie Fletcher, a Houston Democrat whose friendship with Allred grew after both flipped Republican-held seats in 2018. “And frankly, that’s the leadership we need in our state right now.”
Allred’s path to Congress wasn’t typical but has deep roots in his district.
A Dallas native, Allred was born to a single mother who taught in Dallas public schools. The Hillcrest High School football star played for Baylor University on a scholarship before deferring law school for four seasons as an NFL linebacker for the Tennessee Titans beginning in 2007.
After attending law school at the University of California, Berkeley, Allred became a civil rights lawyer and served in the Office of General Counsel for the Department of Housing and Urban Development under then-Secretary Julián Castro, another Texas Democrat.
Allred’s history has been integral to his campaigns and his time in office. He was the first member of Congress to take paternity leave from office and is part of a bipartisan group working to advance paid parental leave legislation.
“I never knew my father, so I made a promise to myself a long time ago that when I became a dad, I would do it right,” Allred said in his campaign announcement video.
Allred made a mark as an affable colleague shortly after arriving in Congress, according to others who were first elected in 2018. He was selected co-class president in his freshman term, and in his second term was elected to represent early-term candidates to Democratic leadership. House Minority Whip Katherine Clark named him as one of her 10 deputies in December.
U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-El Paso, also joined Congress after the 2018 election and said Allred was someone who could “turn down the temperature” in sometimes volatile internal discussions on gun safety legislation and trade agreements with Canada and Mexico.
“Colin was always a voice of reason, a voice of commonsense solutions, but also someone whose input was always very strategic and thoughtful,” Escobar said. “The Democratic Caucus is definitely a big tent, and we have very diverse views.”
There’s more, and they eventually get into what a huge douchebag Cruz is (they used slightly more delicate language) and how Allred will attack him for it. Allred is likeable but not well know, gets stuff done, reaches across the aisle, etc etc etc. You may wonder how any of this will get him votes, but we have four elections’ worth of evidence now showing that some number of Republican voters will not vote for certain Republican candidates in statewide races, and Ted Cruz is definitely one of them. Allred will need maximal Democratic turnout and enough of those “I’m not voting for Ted Cruz” Republicans to have a shot.
In the meantime, the Washington Post is reporting that State Sen. Roland Gutierrez still “intends” to run for Senate as well. I don’t have a WaPo subscription, I’m getting this from the Daily Kos morning digest for Thursday. I’m fine with there being a contested primary – it’s never too early to start campaigning in earnest – but we’ll see. Gutierrez is still saying he’ll make an announcement after the Legislative session ends on May 29.