Cornyn on Stockman: ‘Wasn’t on My Radar Screen’

National Journal
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Elahe Izad
Dec. 10, 2013, 10:49 a.m.

Sen. John Cornyn said that Rep. Steve Stock­man, his latest primary chal­lenger, “wasn’t on my radar screen.”

“I don’t think he’s par­tic­u­larly well-known across the state of Texas. It’s a big state, and I’m not go­ing to fo­cus on any par­tic­u­lar can­did­ate. I’m go­ing to pay all of them equal at­ten­tion,” Cornyn told re­port­ers out­side of his Cap­it­ol of­fice Tues­day.

Stock­man’s sur­prise chal­lenge of the No. 2 Re­pub­lic­an in the Sen­ate brings the total num­ber of can­did­ates run­ning in the Re­pub­lic­an primary to sev­en, al­though the Stock­man-Cornyn match­up will likely garner the most na­tion­al at­ten­tion as an­oth­er ex­ample of a Sen­ate Re­pub­lic­an stal­wart fa­cing a chal­lenge from the right.

“Each one of them is a dif­fer­ent story,” Cornyn said. “[Stock­man] ob­vi­ously was go­ing to be look­ing at a dif­fi­cult race in his own con­gres­sion­al seat, so he de­cided to try something dif­fer­ent.”

Stock­man, a con­ser­vat­ive firebrand known for his act­ive Twit­ter feed, has a long way to go in his race. Stock­man has about $32,000 cash-on-hand; Cornyn has nearly $7 mil­lion. And the Club for Growth, which backed now-Sen. Ted Cruz’s chal­lenge against  the party fa­vor­ite, Lt. Gov. Dav­id Dewhurst, is stay­ing out of the Texas primary.

“Sen. Cruz was unique in many ways be­cause of his tal­ents and the qual­ity of race he ran and the tim­ing,” Cornyn said. “I think one race is not a trend set, but ob­vi­ously there are les­sons to be learned from that. And be­lieve me, I’ve learned them.”