Democrat Colin Allred wants to fight Ted Cruz in the 2024 Senate race
Democratic Rep. Colin Allred, an NFL player-turned voting attorney, launches a challenge for Republican Senator Ted Cruz in Texas and immediately becomes the frontrunner in one of the few ways to win Senate Democrats in 2024.
Allred, who is in his third term in the US House of Representatives, faces an uphill battle against Cruz. No Democrat has won statewide in Texas for nearly three decades. However, the broad Senate map is so tipped against the Democrats in 2024 — they are defending seats in 23 states — that Texas is being viewed as the party’s best opportunity to win a seat.
Cruz is deeply unpopular on a personal level. He came under intense scrutiny for his role in supporting former President Donald Trump’s attempts to reverse the 2020 election results and for his trip to Cancun when ice storms hit Texas in February 2021.
Both incidents figure prominently in Allred’s introductory video, which begins by denouncing Cruz’s behavior during the January 6, 2021 riot, before diving into Allred’s life story. Raised by a single mother, he made it through to the NFL and then law school, and in 2019 became the first member of Congress to take paternity leave.
“We don’t need to embarrass our senator,” Allred says in the three-minute video. “We can get a new one.”
With 20 distinct media markets, Texas is a notoriously expensive campaign state. The National Democrats may not be able to afford to support Allred with TV ads, and he is expected to repeat past Cruz challenger Beto O’Rourke’s record-breaking fundraiser in 2018, when the former congressman raised more than $80 million .
Allred is the most prominent Democrat running, although four lesser-known candidates have also announced offers. Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro was also considering running, and some Democrats have considered astronaut Scott Kelly — the twin brother of Arizona Democratic Senator Mark Kelly — as a potential candidate.
Allred is a member of the New Democrat Coalition in the House of Representatives, which advocates moderate stances on tax and economic issues and is generally considered pro-business.
In a statement, the National Republican Senatorial Committee said Allred was “too liberal” for Texas.
“Like Beto O’Rourke before him, Colin Allred will quickly regret giving up his safe house seat to lead another doomed Democratic campaign in Texas,” said NRSC spokesman Philip Letsou.