Democratic Sen. Colin Allred said he will run for the U.S. Senate in 2024 against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.
Allred, a former NFL player and three-term congressman, made his announcement in a video posted on Twitter on Wednesday. The senator began the video by highlighting his actions on Jan. 6 and criticizing Cruz as he “cheered on the mob” and “hid in the supply closet.”
He continued by emphasizing his collaboration with Republicans on veterans’ issues, trade with Mexico, and legislation to bring manufacturing jobs to the state. He highlighted his interest in raising wages and lowering drug prices for Texas’ citizens and stated that the “struggles of regular Texans don’t interest [Cruz].”
“We deserve a Senator whose team is Texas, but Ted Cruz only cares about himself,” Allred said in his announcement. “You know that.”
Allred joins this race as a bit of an underdog. No Democrat has won statewide office in the state in nearly 30 years; however, Cruz only narrowly beat Democrat Beto O’Rourke in 2018. Cruz won by just under 3 points in the conservative-leaning state. O’Rourke shattered fundraising records during the race, falling short in the end but galvanizing Democrats in the process.
Allred has made strides in fundraising ending 2022 with nearly $2 million in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission records.
The senator has introduced himself to voters by making a case that Cruz is too far right for Texas and turned his back on the state by taking a vacation to Cancun during the deadly winter storm in 2021.
In response to Allred’s announcement, Cruz’s campaign said the Democratic Senator is “too extreme for Texas.” Nick Maddux, a spokesperson for Cruz, called him a “far-left radical.”
“Allred wants men to compete in women’s sports, isn’t serious about addressing the crisis at the border, wants to take away law-abiding Texans’ guns, and is soft on punishing murderers,” Maddux said in a statement. “Bottom line, Allred is too extreme for Texas.”
Before Allred takes on Cruz, he’ll need to succeed in the Democratic primary. State Sen. Rolan Gutierrez, a representative of Uvalde, has expressed interest in a bid, and outgoing Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has been mentioned as a possible candidate.
“We don’t have to be embarrassed by our senator. We can get a new one,” Allred concluded his announcement. “Some people say a Democrat can’t win in Texas,” he said. “Well, someone like me was never supposed to get this far.”