He could be right, but I would not expect it.
Beto O’Rourke has ruled out another run for the Senate, and as he edges closer to a bid for president, Texas Democrats are still searching for someone to challenge Sen. John Cornyn.
But Cornyn isn’t convinced O’Rourke has given up his Senate aspirations.
On Tuesday, he sent donors an email blast warning of “Beto’s Texas,” hinting that the El Paso Democrat could yet come after him, and asking for help filling a new “Stop Beto Fund.”
“I don’t think it’s out of the realm of the possibility that that could happen,” Cornyn said Wednesday when asked about his fundraising message. “The filing deadline is December the 9th, I believe. So my expectation is that perhaps Beto, perhaps Julian Castro or others who have indicated that they’re running for president — if they’re not getting a lot of traction then obviously it’s very easy to pivot into the Senate race.”
Cornyn is correct that no matter what Beto (or Julian, for that matter) says now, there’s a lot of time between now and December 9, and a lot of people running for President. Some number of them may very well not make it to the starting line, and if so they could easily jump into another race like this. Bill White was running for Senate, in anticipation of Kay Bailey Hutchison stepping down to run for Governor, for quite some time in 2009 before he finally figured out that KBH was staying put. Only then did he shift gears to run for Governor. It could happen. I don’t think it will because I don’t think anyone who has the capability of raising money and building a team is going to drop out before the first votes are cast, and that won’t happen till after the filing deadline. But I could be wrong. Cornyn is not wrong to tout the possibility – I figure Beto is at least as big a boogeyman among Republican campaign donors as Nancy Pelosi. May as well ride that horse till it drops.
Other interesting bits:
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, had urged O’Rourke to run against Cornyn.
After O’Rourke decided against it, Schumer met with Hegar, who lost to Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, by about 8,000 votes out of 281,000.
Nearly 3 million people have viewed a 3-minute campaign video that Hegar, a decorated Air Force helicopter pilot, used in her effort to unseat Carter.
But Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois, chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — the party’s House campaign arm — is urging Hegar to run against Carter, The Hill reported Wednesday.
Bustos also said that Gina Ortiz Jones, an Iraq War veteran, will take a second shot at Rep. Will Hurd, R-San Antonio.
“I would say over the next, you know, one, two, three cycles, that that state’s going to look very different,” Bustos said.
Seems clear that what the national Dems want is Beto for Senate, and basically all of the 2018 Congressional candidates – CD24 not included – back for another go at it. Second choice is Joaquin for Senate and the rest as above. We need to know what Beto is doing before we can know what Joaquin is doing, and the rest follows from that. That’s another reason why I think it’s either/or for Beto – once he’s all in for President (or for not running at all), he will no longer have a clear pathway to the nomination for Senate. Someone else will be in that lane, and the surest way to evaporate one’s good will among the party faithful is to be a Beto-come-lately into a race where a perfectly fine candidate that some number of people will already be fiercely loyal to already exists. As someone once said, it’s now or never.