Despite hinting that he would soon announce a campaign for the U.S. Senate, Democrat Congressman Joaquin Castro of San Antonio has announced he would not challenge incumbent Republican Sen. John Cornyn in the 2020 election.
Castro, whose identical twin brother Julian is currently polling at about 0 percent in Democrat presidential polls, had flirted with entering the race and perhaps would have been Texas Democrats’ best chance to take the seat.
Why did Castro change his mind? Because he didn’t think he could win.
“Right now, I’m going to focus on my work in the House of Representatives,” he told Texas newspapers. “I’ve been doing what I feel is important and meaningful work here.”
“If and when I run for another office, it is likely to be something that takes me back home to Texas,” he added.
Cornyn—who has yet to draw a Republican challenger—quickly attributed Castro’s decision to refrain from running to national Democrats, including Democrat leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), pressuring him to back out.
“Despite Rep. Castro saying he was all but certain to run, Chuck Schumer and D.C. Democrats had other ideas,” said a spokesman for Cornyn’s campaign. “Chuck Schumer recruited and picked MJ ‘Hollywood’ Hegar instead, pushing Castro aside and ignoring the Texas Latino grassroots. Shame on Chuck Schumer and D.C. Democrats for forcing a high-profile Hispanic leader out of the Senate race.”
Castro isn’t the only prominent Texas Democrat to pass on the race. Despite coming close to taking out Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) just last year, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke also sidestepped another senatorial campaign by announcing a bid for president. And failed gubernatorial candidate Wendy “Abortion Barbie” Davis is looking to run for Congress.
Texas Democrats, already facing the prospect of an unbelievably thin bench due to voters shutting them out of statewide office for over two decades, appear now to be stuck with the aforementioned MJ Hegar, an Air Force veteran who unsuccessfully campaigned against U.S. Rep. John Carter in 2018.
Cornyn, meanwhile, is sitting atop a $7.4 million war chest.