WaPo says Gutierrez going to challenge Cruz

This is from last week and I don’t see any other stories to this effect, but it’s what we have.

Sen. Roland Gutierrez

Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D), a longtime lawmaker whose district includes Uvalde, Tex., intends to join the U.S. Senate race to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) in 2024, according to three people familiar with Gutierrez’s plans who spoke on the condition of anonymity because a formal announcement has not yet been made.

Gutierrez, 52, has served in the Texas state legislature since 2008 and represents the district where a gunman fatally shot 17 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School nearly a year ago. The mass shooting was the second-deadliest to take place at a school in the United States since 2012, when 20 children and six adult staff members were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The shooting — and Gutierrez’s work with the families of the Uvalde victims afterward to try to enact gun legislation — galvanized the state lawmaker to seriously consider running for higher office, according to a person close to Gutierrez who has been familiar with his thinking over the past year.

“It changes you,” the person said. “Seeing all of that failure, knowing all of that stuff, knowing what the state has purportedly done or not done … and then going into a session and talking to your colleagues and realizing that they still don’t [care]. They are just going to be cowards. And they will sit there and they will cry with the families, but then they won’t do anything.”

Gutierrez would become the second Democrat to join the race, after Rep. Colin Allred (D-Tex.) announced his campaign last week. Texas state law prohibits sitting state lawmakers and other statewide officeholders from accepting campaign contributions during the regular legislative session. This year, the first day Texas lawmakers could accept political contributions would be June 19.

When reached Tuesday, Gutierrez declined to confirm whether he was running.

“The only thing that matters for the next three weeks is fighting for these families,” Gutierrez told The Washington Post. “That’s what I’m focused on right now.”

He added that he would make “decisions on other things” after the Texas legislative session was done.

I noted this story in my earlier post about Rep. Allred getting the “round of introductions” treatment. Sen. Gutierrez himself isn’t saying anything he hadn’t said in a report from late April, but this time we have the “three people familiar with Gutierrez’s plans” speaking for him. As I was saying before the Allred announcement, one does not expect that this sort of thing happens without the full knowledge and approval of the subject, so we have to take it seriously. I don’t see any similar stories out there – I’m a little surprised that the Trib or the Express News hasn’t done something to confirm or deny this – so this is what we have. And we also now have that special session threat from Greg Abbott, which might delay this announcement further. No point in announcing the candidacy if he can’t fundraise off of it. Anyway, this is where we are. Maybe we’ll know more in two weeks, maybe we won’t.

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