Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has drawn another primary opponent.
In a social media post on Monday, independent candidate for U.S. Senate Dwayne Stovall announced he intends to enter the Republican Party primary to challenge the three-term senator and former Texas attorney general.
Stovall also ran against Cornyn in the 2014 Republican Primary. According to his press release, he was only able to raise $70,000. Stovall garnered 10.7 percent of the vote during that campaign, finishing third among the eight candidates.
“Although Cornyn has little support from conservatives across Texas, it appears the State’s establishment leadership has doubled down on Cornyn in order to scare off a primary challenger,” Stovall said in the statement. “That won’t work this time. Texans are tired of career politicians who just go along to get along.”
Stovall cited several reasons for conservatives to oppose Cornyn, including his support for climate change, red-flag laws, and gun control. Stovall also alluded to Cornyn having voted to allow Obamacare funding to go forward. “There is no way John Cornyn should go unchallenged through the primary,” he added. “Conservative Texans deserve better. Much better.”
Stovall didn’t say anything further about why he decided to abandon his declared run as an independent candidate for the office and, instead, mount a Republican primary challenge.
Cornyn’s campaign had not returned requests for comment at the time of this article’s publishing.
A long-time Republican establishment fixture, Cornyn was term-limited out of his Senate leadership post as conference whip last year. Senate Republicans hold their members to three two-year terms for leadership positions, with the position of party leader—occupied by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) since 2007—being the lone exception. Cornyn has served in leadership as both majority and minority whip in the U.S. Senate under three different White House administrations.
Cornyn’s team was quick to lock up several noteworthy Republican endorsements, including fellow U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz, U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (TX–36), and Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, all of whom backed Cornyn almost immediately following his announcement to run for re-election. Cornyn has since added President Donald Trump to the list of public supporters.
Stovall’s entry into the race brings the number of declared Republican candidates to three. On the Democrat side, the field stands at eight, with progressive activist and labor organizer Christina Tzintzun Ramirez being the most recent entrant. The official filing period is later this year, from November 9 through December 9.