If Sen. Ted Cruz doesn’t resign, who could defeat him in 2024?
Though he’s expected to run for president in 2024, Sen. Cruz will face challengers to his Texas Senate seat that same year.
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Things are heating up for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) — in a bad way.
Since the Jan. 6, coup attempt that featured thousands of far-right insurrectionists storming the U.S. Capitol at President Donald Trump’s request, Senators like Cruz, Josh Hawley (R-MO), and others who enabled the riot are still experiencing backlash from the nation.
The Texas Senator led the push to create an election commission to investigate unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, and was joined by several other GOP senators.
In the end, he led 11 Republicans in challenging the certification of the 2020 presidential election results on Jan. 6, while outside of the Capitol walls, a by-product of his claims of a fraudulent election was preparing a storm.
He argued that without the commission, he would not vote to certify Biden’s win. Though verified in the end, this was only after several hours of delay because of the attack on the Capitol fueled by the rhetoric of Trump, Cruz, and Hawley.
Cruz’s loyalty to the president may prove to isolate him further.
He likely has eyes set to run for president again in 2024 — the same year his Senate term is set to expire. Depending on the outcome of the next presidential election, Cruz will have a seat to defend.
But his crusade for Trump, a man who each day loses support from the Republican party, may diminish his support in Texas.
Democratic Texas politicians and twin brothers Rep. Joaquin Castro and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro are already on top of highlighting the rift.
They are calling on Cruz to resign following the deadly riot at the Capitol.
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) has been vocal in opposition to Sen. Cruz in the past, particularly in regards to his and Gov. Abbott’s response to the pandemic. He called on Republicans in Congress and across the nation to renounce their membership in the party after the attempted coup.
Cruz was quick to change his tune after calls for his resignation, fueled by the Castro brothers, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-TX), and more.
The Houston Chronicle, one of Texas’s most prominent newspapers, also recently echoed the calls made by the Castros, and others in calling for the resignation of Cruz.
“Take responsibility,” Joaquin wrote to Cruz on Twitter. “You helped incite people to storm the Capitol and now five people are dead.”
The brothers recently had a public conversation on Instagram Live after the notorious event, where Julián commented that Cruz “has been spectacularly irresponsible, an embarrassment to the state of Texas.”
Their mother, Rosie Castro, a longtime activist for Latinos in Texas, joined the calls for resignation, but with her own take:
She called on one of them to run against Cruz if he doesn’t resign. She quote tweeted Julián’s retweet of Joaquin’s initial call for resignation with her suggestion, and it led to an increase of speculation into the possibility.
Rep. Joaquin Castro’s current term ends in January 2023, and Julián himself currently holds no office seat. Both have propelled each other to the national stage, especially Julián, who ran for the presidency in 2020.
They are two prominent figures from Texas who are also Latino, a growing demographic that is a key player in the state’s gradual shift to Blue. Further separation for Cruz from this demographic would not only be detrimental to a potential Presidential bid, but also his incumbent Senate race.
After California, Texas leads the country in Latinos eligible to vote— at 5.6 million.
Latino Texans, with the exception of Tejanos from the Rio Grande Valley and like-minded south-Texas border communities, have been changing Texas’ political landscape for years.
Should voter advocacy groups and grassroots organizations complete their years-long mission of flipping the state, the Democratic hold will deepen, and further disprove the notion that the South is solidly red.
The murmurs of the Castro brothers are mere speculation as of now, but they raise valid points to consider.