A Republican congressional hopeful got a big boost to his campaign this week when Texas’ junior senator announced his support for him in the ongoing Republican primary runoff election.

On Tuesday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz announced his support for Raul Reyes, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and businessman campaigning for Texas’ Congressional District 23, a geographically sweeping district stretching from San Antonio to just outside El Paso. The district has been a target for Democrats for years.

In a 30-second ad released by Cruz’s Jobs, Freedom, and Security PAC, the senator endorsed Reyes and called on Texans in the sprawling geographic area to vote for Reyes in the runoff election.

“We need to send conservative warriors to defeat Nancy Pelosi’s agenda and show some of our Republicans what a backbone is. That’s why I’m supporting retired Col. Raul Reyes for Congress,” says Cruz. “President Trump needs more congressmen like Col. Reyes—leaders who won’t surrender our border, our sovereignty, our way of life.”

Reyes is facing off against Tony Gonzales, a Navy veteran and former staffer of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R–FL), who has been endorsed by retiring incumbent Republican Congressman Will Hurd—an individual whose voting record makes him the most liberal Texas Republican in Congress.

Gonzales touts the endorsement of Hurd as well as House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and other congressmen, including U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, along with the endorsement of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly.

While Gonzales’ support appears to come from the establishment, Reyes’ endorsement comes from conservative grassroots organizations, including Texas Right to Life and Young Conservatives of Texas.

CD 23 runs from just outside San Antonio to the suburbs of El Paso and includes Brewster, Crane, Crockett, Culberson, Dimmit, Edwards, Frio, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis, Kinney, Loving, Maverick, Medina, Pecos, Presidio, Reagan, Reeves, Schleicher, Sutton, Terrell, Upton, Uvalde, Val Verde, Ward, Winkler, and Zavala counties, as well as portions of Bexar, El Paso, and La Salle counties.

Early voting is ongoing, with the election concluding on July 14.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens