Rep. Colin Allred will face Sen. Ted Cruz in November

Congressman Colin Allred has won the state’s Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate and will now face Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in the general election.

By Sergio Martínez-Beltrán, The Texas NewsroomMarch 5, 2024 10:44 pm,

From NPR:

AUSTIN — Congressman Colin Allred, D-Texas, has won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, according to a race call by The Associated Press, and will now face Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in the November general election.

Allred, 40, is a former professional football player who first won a seat in Congress in 2018. He’s been endorsed by big labor groups such as the Texas AFL-CIO and has stressed his support for abortion rights.

Allred finished well ahead in Tuesday’s nine-candidate Democratic primary, while state Sen. Roland Gutierrez came in second.

Cruz easily dispatched minor opposition in the GOP primary.

Where Allred and Gutierrez differed

Throughout the campaign, Allred and Gutierrez highlighted their different stances on pressing issues such as border security and the Israel-Hamas war.

Gutierrez has been vocal in support of a cease-fire in the war, while Allred has said he doesn’t support a cease-fire without conditions.

“A cease-fire without conditions would mean that all these [Israeli] hostages … that Hamas still holds would remain hostages,” Allred said during a January debate hosted by the Texas AFL-CIO.

On border security, Allred has said he believes something needs to happen on the federal level to address the influx of unauthorized migrants at the southern border. Earlier this year, he supported a Republican-led resolutiondenouncing President Biden’s “open borders policies.”

Gutierrez accused the congressman of throwing Biden under the bus, saying the move was “just for political expediency.”

Gutierrez also attacked Allred over his opposition to a single-payer health insurance system, like Medicare for All.

Gutierrez made gun control a pillar of his platform. He represents Uvalde, Texas, the town where in 2022 a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.

“I’m running for the United States Senate so we don’t see another child get killed like that again,” Gutierrez had said.

A challenging path against Cruz

Allred, Tuesday’s winner, will have an uphill battle against Cruz.

The last time a Democrat won a Senate seat in Texas was in 1988.

Cruz, who has been in the U.S. Senate since 2013, was challenged in 2018 by Beto O’Rourke, arguably the state’s most well-known Democrat, and Cruz ended up beating him by 2.6 percentage points.

The latest polls show Cruz easily beating Allred. In a one-on-one faceoff, a February Texas Politics Project poll shows Cruz ahead of Allred by 14 points.

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