May 3, 2023 - Politics

U.S. Rep Colin Allred from Dallas is running for Sen. Cruz's seat

Rep. Colin Allred will need to win the Democratic primary to go up against Sen. Ted Cruz. Photos: Emil Lippe/Getty Images, Brandon Bell/Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, a Democrat representing District 32 in North Texas, on Wednesday announced his campaign to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2024 election.

Why it matters: Challenging a longtime incumbent can be costly and difficult, especially when the incumbent is a Republican in a Republican-majority state.

Flashback: In 2018, Allred unseated 11-term Rep. Pete Sessions, a Republican, and delivered a big flip for Democrats. Sessions was chair of the House Rules Committee at the time.

The big picture: Allred and Cruz both hold law degrees, but they've had different career trajectories.

  • Cruz worked on President George W. Bush's 2000 campaign — though the former president reportedly once said, "I just don't like the guy" — and was once the Texas solicitor general.
  • Allred played in the NFL for four seasons, but a career-ending injury led him to pursue a law degree. He worked in the Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Obama administration and received Obama's endorsement for his 2018 campaign in District 32.

State of play: Allred's first video for his Senate campaign takes several jabs at Cruz, highlighting their differences before describing how Allred's life has influenced his approach to lawmaking.

  • "I took off my jacket and got ready to take on anyone who came through that door," the former Tennessee Titans linebacker says when describing the Jan. 6 insurrection. "And Ted Cruz? He cheered on the mob and hid in the supply cabinet when they stormed the Capitol."
  • Allred's areas of focus include paid family leave, prescription drug costs and job creation.

The other side: "Democrats have once again turned to a far-left radical to run for Senate," Cruz's spokesperson, Nick Maddux, said in a statement, calling Allred "too extreme for Texas."

  • Maddux said Cruz plans to focus on bringing more jobs to Texas, fighting "out of control" government spending and supporting the oil and gas industry "from the attacks of Democrats like Joe Biden and Colin Allred."

What's next: Other people could join the race before next year's Democratic primary.

  • The Texas Tribune reported last month that state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat from San Antonio who has become a champion of the Uvalde shooting victims' families, is "very likely" to join the race.

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