Rep. Beto O'Rourke to challenge Ted Cruz for Texas Senate seat

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat, talks with Midlanders at Grub Burger earlier this month.

US Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) is expected to announce his plans to run against Sen. A spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party also declined to comment on the announcement.

U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat and ex-punk rocker who pulled a stunning upset to win his House seat six years ago, plans to declare his candidacy on Friday for the Senate seat held by Ted Cruz, according to Democratic sources in Texas.

There is an additional potential outlier in this mix: Former George W. Bush strategist Matthew Dowd, an on-air commentator, is considering an independent run for Senate. "We both agreed‎ that we've got to come to our decisions about the whether to enter the race", Castro said.

When asked if a Democrat could prevail against the outspoken conservative Cruz in the solidly red state, O'Rourke replied, "Yes, he's beatable". He's also in favor of term limits.

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Castro told CNN that O'Rourke called him Tuesday night to let him know he made a decision to run for Senate. His father once was the El Paso County judge, and O'Rourke is a former member of the El Paso city council. Cruz is a lawyer who went to Princeton and Harvard.

Cruz, meanwhile, appears to be steadying his political ship after a rough post-presidential campaign stretch that included being booed off the stage at the Republican National Convention.

From a national perspective, the U.S. Senate race in Texas is an afterthought.

But the race could still garner attention.

"I'm very moved to do it", the 44-year-old said in an interview earlier in March. The two billed their trip as a mobile town hall and broadcast it live on social media platforms to discuss issues such as health care, the Trump administration's travel ban and immigration reform. For the past few months O'Rourke has been unofficially campaigning and meeting with leaders across Texas.

  • Ismael Montgomery