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How Ted Cruz Can Reshape Texas’ Political Scene

As the 2024 election season begins, Texas politicians will be eyeing Ted Cruz.

The political outlook for a two-term senator is diverse and complex. Seeking re-election in 2024, Cruz said he will seek his next term on Nov. 19. That statement came after his speech at the annual meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas last month.

“I’m fighting for the Senate. I’m running for re-election in the Senate. I’m focused on fighting for the United States Senate,” Cruz said when asked by a Fox News reporter about his political future. said after

However, Cruz has also been mentioned as a Republican presidential candidate and has not ruled out running for the White House again. He won the Republican nomination and upset Hillary Clinton to become president.

If Cruz were to run for the White House, he would have to decide whether to forego a run for the Senate or campaign for both seats at once.

Texas law allows U.S. Senators to seek re-election while running for President or Vice President. Democrats Lyndon B. Johnson (1960) and Lloyd Bentsen (1988) took advantage of this law passed in 1959. It was that year that Johnson, then the Senate Majority Leader, was preparing for the presidential election. He became Vice President under John F. Kennedy.

Republican consultant Bill Miller said he was almost certain Cruz would run for president and be re-elected to the Senate at the same time.

“It reduces competition, but it doesn’t eliminate it,” says Miller. “A candidate runs to prepare to run again. You don’t have to go up against him. He just runs, polishes his credentials, meets voters and lays the groundwork for the next election.”

In Las Vegas, Cruz brushed off a question about the presidential election.

“We have plenty of time to talk about the 2024 presidential election,” he said. “They have plenty of time.”

FILE - Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz spoke at the Republican Annual Leadership Conference...
FILE – Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz speaks at the annual leadership conference of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas on November 19, 2022. Prominent Republican senators, including Cruz, Missouri’s Josh Hawley, and Florida’s Rick Scott, are also slated for re-election in 2024. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)(John Locher/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

After eight years of current GOP statewide leadership, many Texas Republicans are anticipating a shift in state dynamics.

Cruz’s move in 2024 could spur some of Texas’ most prominent elected officials to run for the Senate seats he holds and other offices created by the domino effect. there is.

Democrats are also watching Cruz.

Whether or not Cruz seeks re-election, U.S. Representative Colin Allred, D-Dallas, could be a candidate for the 2024 Senate.

So, in any scenario, there can be political intrigue, and this is common in situations involving Cruz.

“Republicans have a deep bench in Texas,” said Matthew Langston, a conservative political consultant. If there are vacancies, there will be a lot of interest,” he said.

Cruz’s rise to power coincided with a political scramble in 2012 sparked by the retirement of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. Though he started with 2% support in the polls, with strong support from Tee his party movement, the former state attorney general emerged from a crowded field and won the Republican nomination David his Defeated Lieutenant Dewhurst. He then defeated former Henderson Rep. Paul Sadler, a Democrat, to replace Hutchison, who later served as U.S. ambassador to NATO under Trump.

Two years later, Greg Abbott, who had previously served as Attorney General, became governor. Dan Patrick defeated Dewhurst to become Lieutenant Governor, and Ken Paxton succeeded Abbott as Attorney General.

Will Cruz cause another political shift?

Several Republicans have been mentioned as candidates to replace him if he changes course and does not seek re-election. The list includes Paxton, who was elected to his third term in November, Dan Crenshaw of Houston, Pat Fallon of Sherman and Lance Gooden of Terrell. Other candidates are Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar and Lakeway Texas Senator Dawn Buckingham.

Statewide leaders like Paxton and Hegar can run for the Senate in 2024 without losing their seats. Member of Parliament he is elected every two years and cannot afford such.

Most political analysts say that if Cruz seeks re-election, he will be favored to win. He has spent a lot of time this year picking candidates for the Republican House and Senate.

A lot of Republican action would occur if Cruz actually became president or vice president. This will lead to a special election to replace him as a senator.

In 1961, Republican John Tower defeated 70 candidates and won a special election to replace Johnson in the Senate.

As it stands, Cruz will be the president’s underdog. Trump announced his candidacy for the White House. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has not announced a presidential run, but he is considered a front-runner for the nomination other than Trump.

Cruise has always wanted to be president, but 2024 may not be his time.

Texas Democrat Rep. Colin Allred said...
Texas Democrat Rep. Colin Allred addresses the audience at an award ceremony at the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce in Dallas on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. (Shafkat Anowar / Staff Photographer)

Presidential politics aside, Democrats in Texas want to reject Cruz’s next term in the Senate. In 2018, Cruz defeated former US Congressman Beto O’Rourke by just 2.6 points. O’Rourke, who ran for president in 2020, lost to Abbott in November’s gubernatorial race.

With an O’Rourke-Cruise rematch unlikely, Allred’s potential run for a second term as Congressman representing North Dallas has been a hot topic among Democrats.

Allred, who is seen as a business-leaning moderate, has not sought the Democratic leadership position even after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to step down as party leader. It gives him the flexibility to avoid the bipartisan votes that plague him in the campaign.

Question for Allred and others: Can Democrats win a statewide election in Texas?

The 2024 election season brings political drama and change.

A lot of it starts with a cruise.

“It’s a shaken bottle, with pressure inside,” says Miller.

Supporters of former President Donald Trump line up behind Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz...
Supporters of former President Donald Trump line up behind Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during a book signing at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas on August 5, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)(LM Otello / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

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