Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who currently finds himself in an unusually competitive race against MJ Hegar (D), previously falsely represented himself as a graduate of Oxford University in England in the run-up to his successful election to the Texas Supreme Court, Salon reports.
Senate Majority PAC, the top Democratic super PAC in U.S. Senate races, is launching a major late investment in Texas, spending $8.6 million on TV ads supporting MJ Hegar’s (D) bid to oust Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Texas Tribune reports.
MJ Hegar, the former Air Force pilot running as a Democrat against Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), told the Houston Chronicle that she voted for Republican presidential nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) wasted no time in trying to label challenger MJ Hegar (D) as a political lightweight who takes her clues from “liberal superstars Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren,” the Dallas Morning News reports.
But Hegar fired back, calling Cornyn “a lackey and a spineless bootlicker” for President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
Said Hegar: “He in the primary tried to tell people I was too far right. Now, he’s trying to tell people I’m too far left — and the poor guy can’t decide which messaging to go with.”
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is endorsing MJ Hegar in the crowded primary to challenge Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), the Texas Tribune reports.
“Hegar, the former Air Force helicopter pilot and 2018 congressional candidate, entered the primary in April and has emerged as the top fundraiser. But polls show the race remains wide open as Democrats look to pick up where they left off from Beto O’Rourke’s near-miss 2018 loss to the state’s junior senator, Ted Cruz.”
Dallas Morning News: “The poll also shows him in a near-tie, trailing Sen. John Cornyn 46% to 42% at this point, which is far stronger than others already seeking the nomination.”
“O’Rourke’s campaign operation has gone dormant. He didn’t respond to messages on Monday and hasn’t said lately whether he’s interested… During his presidential campaign, O’Rourke said flatly and repeatedly that he would not even consider running for the Senate in 2020.”
Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) told MSNBC that host he will not be running for the Senate.
Sad O’Rourke: “I will not in any scenario run for the United States Senate. I’m running for president. I’m running for this country. I’m taking this fight directly to Donald Trump and that is what I am exclusively focused on doing right now.”
A Houston Chronicle editorial says we saw the real Beto O’Rourke after the El Paso mass shooting last week.
“Frankly, it’s made us wish O’Rourke would shift gears, and rather than unpause his presidential campaign, we’d like to see him take a new direction.”
“So Beto, if you’re listening: Come home. Drop out of the race for president and come back to Texas to run for senator. The chances of winning the race you’re in now are vanishingly small. And Texas needs you.”
“MJ Hegar, candidate for U.S. Senate and mother of two young kids, has asked the Federal Election Commission for approval to spend campaign donations on child care as she seeks to oust Sen. John Cornyn,” the Dallas Morning News reports.
“Cornyn weighed in Friday with the commission — offering his ‘full support.'”
For members: The new edition of Inside Elections.
This edition includes a deep dive into the Texas Senate race, where Democrats are hoping Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 performance was a new floor instead of the ceiling as they take on John Cornyn.
The issue also includes analysis of California’s 48th District (where Republicans are trying to retake some suburban territory), a dissection of a peculiar TV ad in a North Carolina special election, and a conversation with one of the Democrats running against Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO).
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) “has decided not to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Sen. John Cornyn, choosing instead to continue pursuing a fast-rising career in Congress focusing on security and border issues,” the San Antonio Express-News reports.
“Castro’s decision could pave the way for a contest in 2020 between Cornyn and Mary Jennings ‘MJ’ Hegar, an Afghanistan war veteran who ran a strong but losing race for Congress last year and who declared her candidacy last week.”
“MJ Hegar, an Air Force veteran whose viral campaign ads nearly helped her get elected in one of Texas’ most Republican-friendly congressional districts last year, set her sights higher on Tuesday and launched a run for U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent John Cornyn,” the AP reports.
Texas Tribune: “Emboldened after their gains in 2018 — including the closer-than-expected Senate race — the state party is establishing a ‘Cornyn War Room’ to ‘define Cornyn before he defines himself,’ according to a memo. It is unlike anything the party has done in recent history surrounding a U.S. Senate race, and it reflects the urgency with which Texas Democrats are approaching a potentially pivotal election cycle.”
Cornyn responded to the initiative saying he hopes Democrats “spend every last penny they get from their out-of-state puppet masters.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram: “Cornyn’s team plans to focus on votes Castro took against bills providing aid for Texans impacted by Hurricane Harvey — at times separating Castro from other Texas Democrats.”
“It also highlights places where the San Antonio Democrat, who hasn’t faced a Republican challenger since 2014, sided with the liberal wing of his party on issues such as immigration and the environment.”
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) is “all but certain” to enter next year’s race for U.S. Senate and take on incumbent Republican John Cornyn, Texas Monthly reports.
“The move would profoundly change the dynamics of the 2020 campaign and put Texas squarely on center stage, with two Texans already in the Democratic primary race and Joaquin taking on a longtime Republican senator who many see as vulnerable, especially during a presidential election year.”
“Beto O’Rourke has decided not to run for Senate next year against Republican incumbent John Cornyn and likely will announce a campaign for president soon,” confidants close to the former congressman told the Dallas Morning News.
“Numerous people close to O’Rourke said they expect him to announce his presidential campaign within weeks. For his own part, O’Rourke on Wednesday wouldn’t reveal his future political plans except to say he has made up his mind.”
Said O’Rourke: “Amy and I have made a decision about how we can best serve our country. We are excited to share it with everyone soon.”
A new Quinnipiac poll in Texas finds Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-TX) approval rate at 43% to 26%, putting his net approval at +17.
First Read: “One person who’s probably paying attention to those numbers? Beto O’Rourke (D), who’s being encouraged to run for either president of the United States or to run against Cornyn in 2020.”
“Cornyn is less well known than Ted Cruz (R-TX), who just barely beat O’Rourke in November. (About 31 percent of Texans don’t have an opinion of Cornyn, while only nine percent say the same for Cruz.) But Cruz’s negatives — at 40% disapproval — are significantly higher than Cornyn’s, putting his net approval rating at +11.”
“All of that paints a picture of a much trickier race for O’Rourke over Cornyn than his recent attempt to take on one of the Senate’s most polarizing members.”
A new Public Policy Polling survey in Texas finds Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) just ahead of possible challenger Beto O’Rourke (D) in a U.S. Senate race, 47% to 45% with 8% of registered voters undecided.