In a presidential election year certain to be bad for Democrats in Texas, an incumbent Democrat is giving up his seat in Congress to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

A one-time professional athlete, U.S. Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) has served in Congress since 2019. Fresh off his re-election in November, Allred announced his long-shot bid a year out from the 2024 Democrat primary.

In his campaign announcement, Allred played up his status as a former NFL player and focused less on his left-wing record in Congress.

“When I left the NFL, I thought my days of putting people on the ground were over. Then January 6 happened,” said Allred in a video posted to Twitter, alluding to the events of January 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol.

Allred accuses Cruz of being “all hat, no cattle,” adding that the incumbent “only cares about himself.”

“I’m running for U.S. Senate because Texans deserve a senator whose team is Texas,” the Democrat added.

However, Allred’s voting record is a direct contrast to what polling and election results show are important to Texas voters. As a member of Congress, the Democrat has voted against:

  • Protecting women’s and girls’ sports
  • Parental rights over their child’s education, including allowing parents to review their child’s school curriculum, inspect books and reading materials available in their child’s school, and review the budget of revenues and expenditures for their child’s school
  • Repealing the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration from 2020
  • Requiring healthcare practitioners to save babies born prematurely following an abortion or attempted abortion

Meanwhile, he voted in favor of:

  • Continuing to require foreign travelers to show proof of their COVID-19 jab status before entering the U.S.
  • Providing statutory authority for same-sex marriages (Allred was also the co-sponsor for this measure in 2022)
  • Banning “assault” weapons
  • Prohibiting anyone acting under state law from interfering with a woman attempting to get an out-of-state abortion (co-sponsored by Allred)
  • Regulating access and establishing new criminal offenses for obtaining certain firearms (co-sponsored by Allred)
  • Expressing unequivocal support for Ukraine

“Democrats have once again turned to a far-left radical to run for Senate,” explained Cruz spokesman Nick Maddux in a statement. “Not only does Colin Allred vote with Nancy Pelosi 100 percent of the time, but his voting record is completely out of touch with Texas.”

It has been close to 30 years since Democrats in Texas have won a race for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

In 2018, Cruz beat Democrat former U.S. Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke by approximately 3 points; Maddux believes Allred has no chance of winning.

Allred acknowledged that “some people say a Democrat can’t win in Texas,” but he argued he has “taken down a lot tougher guys than Ted Cruz.”

His ad on Twitter has already gained a variety of negative responses.

The congressman was accused of lying to people, lacking merit, and defaming another candidate. His use of January 6 in his ad was also labeled an “old” appeal to Democrat voters.

“Allred is too extreme for Texas,” stated Maddux. “Thankfully, the Lone Star State has a tireless champion in Sen. Ted Cruz.”

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.