After months of speculation that he would run for statewide office, the fourth-term congressman has decided to run for reelection in the U.S. House.
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro will not run for Senate after all.
After repeated public signals that he was “all but certain” to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, Castro, a San Antonio Democrat, has opted to run for reelection rather than pursue what would likely have been a bruising political battle.
The San Antonio Express-News was the first to report the news Wednesday.
But Castro’s decision first came to light earlier in the day, when he told a reporter that he’s “gonna pass” on the race to unseat Cornyn. That conversation with Castro was overheard by other media outlets on Cornyn’s weekly conference call with the Texas media. The reporter apparently had not muted his line on the Cornyn call and was talking with Castro on a different line.
Castro told the reporter that their conversation was “off the record,” which refers to an agreement between a reporter and a source to not publish what the source says. But other journalists who heard the conversation are not bound by any such agreement.
All eyes now shift to Air Force veteran MJ Hegar, a 2018 U.S. House candidate who lost her bid to unseat U.S. Rep. John Carter year. She announced her Senate run last week. While unsuccessful in her congressional run, Hegar built a strong fundraising operation and exceeded expectations in that bid. She is likely to have the support of EMILY’s List, an organization that works to elect female Democrats who support abortion rights.
For now, this race is Cornyn’s to lose. He has several million dollars in his campaign account and is unlikely to face a serious primary challenge. But national Democrats are cautiously sizing up Texas, trying to determine if they are willing to invest enough to compete for a state with as many media markets as Texas.
But there is a great deal of activity down-ballot — Democrats are competing for both U.S. House and state legislative races. And former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke‘s closer-than-expected 2.6 point margin against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz last year has done much to lift Democratic hopes.
Cornyn has sought to sow division in the Democratic primary, portraying Hegar as the choice of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Cornyn continued to do that during his conference call Wednesday, even as a reporter’s exchange with Castro was still unfolding for all to hear.
Castro could run, Cornyn said, “but maybe on second thought, he’s decided to stand down and just accede to Mr. Schumer’s hand-selected candidate, MJ Hegar.”
Cornyn’s campaign further pushed the narrative in a statement on Castro’s decision, saying, “Shame on Chuck Schumer and DC Democrats for forcing a high-profile Hispanic leader out of the Senate race.”
Castro previously brushed off the Schumer-related speculation as “political gossip.”
Hegar released a statement Wednesday praising Castro for “his commitment to public service” and “his strong leadership.”
“I am laser-focused on our shared goal of defeating Senator Cornyn next November,” she said.
Hegar is one of four Democrats who have announced they are running against Cornyn. The others are Michael Cooper, Sema Hernandez and Adrian Ocegueda.
Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards has also said she is considering a run for the seat, and state Sen. Royce West of Dallas has been discussed as a potential candidate. Shortly after Castro announced his decision Wednesday, West told the Tribune that he is focused on the current legislative session and its two big issues: school finance and property tax reform.
The real problem wasn’t the racism — it was the Trump taking ‘the Lord’s name in vain’ twice: supporter
President Donald Trump was widely condemned after supporters at a campaign rally in West Virginia turned his racist "go back" message into a "Send Her Back" chant against one of a woman of color in Congress.
One Trump supporter in West Virginia also criticized the speech, but not for the racist targeting of Rep. Ilhan Omar.
State Senator Paul Hardesty, a Democrat, wrote to the White House to complain about Trump's use of the word "goddamn."
The letter was republished by the Montgomery-Herald.
Tongue-tied GOP strategist crashes and burns on-air while trying to deny Trump’s racism
Republican strategist Amy Tarkanian crashed and burned on CNN on Saturday while attempting to deny President Donald Trump's racism.
"I do not believe that the president’s tweets were racist. I do believe they were not well thought out. He needs that extra, 'Are you sure?' button on Twitter," Tarkanian argued.
"I'm a black man, I'm a Republican and a black man," the Rev. Joe Watkins interjected. "My mother's an immigrant, I would be angry if someone said that to my mother."
"Oh, it’s very offensive. But he did not say, because you are this color, go back to where you came from," Tarkanian argued. "I’m not supporting that tweet. Was it racist? No. Was it stupid? Yes."
Trump supporter blames Democrats for being targeted by the president: ‘Why is that racist?’
CNN interviewed a supporter of President Donald Trump in Eau Claire, Wisconsin who refused to acknowledge the racism in the president's "Go Back" attacks on four women of color in Congress.
The network interviewed Kerri Krumenauer of Wiersgalla Plumbing & Heating Company about Trump's attacks.
"How is it racist?" she asked.
"If you don't like this country, get out," she demanded. "Leave!"
She then showed how misinformed she was about the incident.
"He didn't use any names -- they stood up," she falsely claimed. In fact, Trump did use names and the targets did not stand up as they were not at his North Carolina campaign rally.