Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro said Wednesday he’s considering challenging Republican Ted Cruz in the 2018 Texas Senate race and that he will decide by this spring.
“I said that I’ll take a look at it and I will,” Castro said. “Obviously if you’re going to run in Texas, it’s a large state, you need a lot of money and a lot of time to mount a serious campaign.”
“But I do think that there’s going to be a real opportunity for Democrats in Texas and across the nation, really, because Donald Trump is leading the country in the wrong direction,” Castro said during a BuzzFeed Brews interview series event at the Newseum. “And unfortunately, senators like Ted Cruz are following right along with him.”
Castro also accused Cruz of not working for his constituents. “There’s no question it would be a tough race and he would have a lot of money and he is really beloved by his base — you’ve gotta give him credit for that,” Castro said, “but at the same time, he really has not done much for the people of Texas.”
Castro first floated the idea of running for Senate, though not necessarily in 2018, back in June. We haven’t heard much from him about it since then, and in the meantime Rep. Beto O’Rourke has emerged as another possible candidate, one who appears to be much more affirmative about 2018. I don’t pretend to know Rep. Castro’s future plans, but I feel very confident saying that we will not have a contested primary between him and Rep. O’Rourke for the right to challenge Ted Cruz next year. Only one of them will run if either of them does, and right now based on the available public statements I’d put my money on O’Rourke for next year. Given the fundraising needs for a Senate race, we should know for sure sooner rather than later.