In hopes to unseat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas State Sen. Roland Gutierrez has become the second Democrat challenger in the 2024 Senate race.

In early May, Democrat U.S. Rep. Colin Allred (D–TX) announced that he would run for the Democrat nomination to challenge Cruz. Allred was immediately criticized for having said America would be better off without the Second Amendment, and Gutierrez has also advocated for strict gun control measure.

In his announcement video, Gutierrez—who represents Uvalde—claimed Republicans did not want to do anything to protect children following the school shooting last year that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

During this previous session, Gutierrez filed five bills that he called “the most comprehensive common sense gun safety legislation in Texas history.”

Gutierrez’ proposals included raising the age requirement to buy a gun to 21, limiting the sale of ammunition to minors, modifying requirements to ensure guns are safely secured, establishing ammo-sales databases, and requiring gun owners to have liability insurance. None of the bills passed, and they were left pending in their respective committees.

He has also been a supporter of pro-abortion legislation. During the regular 88th Legislative Session, Gutierrez supported legislation that would allow for an exception to the current abortion restrictions if the pregnant woman is a victim of sexual assault. However, the patient would not have needed any form of proof that she had been sexually assaulted.

Gutierrez says he’s running against Cruz because “everything we’ve seen in this state has been nothing but taking care of rich people while the poor people and the working class get screwed over.”

Alluding to the record-breaking winter storm of 2021, he added, “Eight hundred people died because people that are elected to office in this state that would rather enrich big electrical gas supply corporations than to go help people.”

A poll conducted by the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation found that in a Democrat primary race between Allred and Gutierrez, 33 percent of Democrat primary voters would vote for Allred and only 22 percent would vote for Gutierrez. In a hypothetical Senate race between Allred and Cruz, Cruz leads Allred 47 percent to 40 percent among registered Texas voters.

Nick Maddux, a spokesman for Cruz, responded to the announcement:

We welcome Senator Gutierrez to the race. Texans will now get to watch Colin Allred and Roland Gutierrez slug it out for who can be the most radical leftist in the state. Meanwhile, Sen. Cruz will continue passionately defending Texas and delivering real results for 30 million Texans.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.