An eighth Democrat has joined the crowded primary field to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn. Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez, a young, progressive activist who founded the organizations the Workers Defense Project and Jolt, has thrown her hat in the ring for the Democrat nomination.

Since her announcement, Ramirez has signaled that her campaign will seek to take several plays out of the playbook utilized by former Congressman and candidate for Senate, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke.

O’Rourke came within 3 points of beating U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz last year, the closest that Democrats have come in recent history to winning a statewide office in Texas. Like O’Rourke, Ramirez has made clear she will be working to court young and Latino voters across the state.

The Intercept, a liberal, online news publication backed by billionaire eBay-founder and Democrat donor Pierre Omidyar, reported Monday evening that the campaign being assembled by the Irish-Mexican candidate is even being headed by former O’Rourke senior staff members.

With her background in mobilizing young and Latin-American Texans and the help of the former-O’Rourke acolytes behind her, her trajectory to the nomination would seemingly be a shoo-in, if not for the seven other previously declared candidates in the field already.

The crowded field, not unlike the one shaping up for the Democrat nomination for president, has already ignited a bit of one-upmanship regarding their leftist credentials and support for wild-eyed progressive policies.

Ramirez, for example, has already plainly stated she “is embracing progressive policy stances like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, ‘massive divestment from Immigration and Customs Enforcement,’ and rejecting all corporate PAC money. She also plans to roll out a ‘bold’ immigration plan meant to ‘protect the rights of immigrant workers and families.’”

As the list of Democrat candidates continues to grow, Texas voters will be on track to watch a hotly contested statewide Democrat primary for the first time in a long time. Meanwhile, on the Republican side, only one individual has stepped forward to challenge Cornyn. A financial adviser based in Plano, Mark Yancey, has filed the paperwork; however, Yancey does not have a website or any indication, to date, of mounting a serious challenge in the primary.

That said, there is a large amount of time before both parties’ December filing deadline.

Destin Sensky

Destin Sensky serves as a Capitol Correspondent for Texas Scorecard covering the Texas Legislature, working to bring Texans the honest and accurate coverage they need to hold their elected officials in Austin accountable.