Rep. Colin Allred becomes 1st Democrat to challenge Ted Cruz for Senate

Rep. Colin Allred.
Rep. Colin Allred. Emil Lippe/Getty Images
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Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas) announced on Wednesday he is running for Senate, with his eyes on the seat now held by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Allred, 40, is a former NFL linebacker who went on to become a civil rights attorney. He is the first Democrat to enter the Texas Senate race, and in his campaign announcement video, discussed the bipartisan bills he supported, saying these efforts helped veterans and brought high-tech jobs to his state. "We deserve a senator whose team is Texas," Allred said. "Ted Cruz only cares about himself."

He spoke about Cruz's actions during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, saying the senator "cheered on the mob" but then hid in a supply closet after the crowd entered the Capitol. "But that's Ted for you," Allred declared. "All hat, no cattle." Allred also mentioned Cruz leaving Texas for Cancun during a deadly ice storm in 2021, and said while he will do "anything to get on Fox News" and spends months "trying to whip up phony culture wars," Cruz is not doing anything to raise wages, lower drug prices, or keep rural hospitals open.

"We don't have to be embarrassed by our senator," Allred said. "We can get a new one. Some people say a Democrat can't win in Texas. Well, someone like me was never supposed to get this far. I've taken down a lot tougher guys than Ted Cruz, so let's get on the field and find out."

In the Senate, Democrats now have a 51-49 majority, and in 2024, will be defending 23 seats. A Democrat hasn't won a statewide race in Texas since 1994, and while Democrat Beto O'Rourke came within three points of Cruz in 2018, he lost the 2022 gubernatorial election to incumbent Republican Gov. Greg Abbott by 10 points.

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