U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz says he will endorse against the 21 Republicans who voted with Democrats against school choice in the Texas House.
Cruz made the comments during an interview on the Chris Salcedo Show, where he acknowledged that getting involved in state-level races is abnormal for U.S. senators.
“There are 100 senators. To the best of my knowledge, 99 of them do not get involved in state legislative races. And the reason is getting involved in state legislative races in primaries in your state is stupid, it hurts you politically,” said Cruz. “To the best of my knowledge, I am the only one who not only gets involved, but I make a regular practice of it.”
The main factor in Cruz’s endorsements this cycle? Their support for school choice.
“My basic rule is, if you have supported school choice and you are otherwise relatively conservative, you’re quite likely to get my support. If on the other hand, you voted against choice, the odds of getting my support are zero. And I am very likely to endorse your primary opponent. When I do so I don’t do so gently. I cut TV ads and radio ads and I come in and we beat you,” said Cruz.
Earlier this month, 21 Republicans in the Texas House sided with Democrats in killing a school choice proposal. While some of those members have already announced their retirement, Cruz says he is prepared to replace them with more conservative members.
“l’ll tell you this, the 21 Republicans that voted this last session to kill school choice, every one of those 21 I want to make an invitation to their primary opponent: run against them and I will back you.”
“I’m going to do everything I can to beat those 21 Republicans,” he added.
This is not the first time Cruz has endorsed candidates based on their support for school choice. In the 2022 primary, Cruz said it was a “critical factor” in earning his support.
That decision led to a split between Cruz and Gov. Greg Abbott on a number of state legislative endorsements. While Abbott endorsed incumbents State Reps. Kyle Kacal (R–College Station) and Glenn Rogers (R–Graford), Cruz supported their challengers. Both Kacal and Rogers won their elections and went on to vote against school choice.
Kacal, however, has already announced he will not be seeking re-election.
This year, in contrast, Abbott has made the issue his top priority and has already begun endorsing against incumbent members who opposed school choice.