Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) is set to officially announce his challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz (R) on Friday. "The third-term congressman and fluent Spanish speaker is the kind of rising political star Democrats hope can help begin turning deep red Texas blue, aided by a booming Hispanic population and state politics pushed even farther right by [President] Trump and Cruz." (New York Times)
Meanwhile, senior Democrats “are quick to tamp down expectations about their chances in the Lone Star State.”
“We’re realistic. Our approach is, No. 1, to shore up the blue line we have in the Senate right now,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), chair of the DSCC. “Wild things can happen in 2018. We can be very competitive in Texas.”
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), the NRSC chair, sarcastically commented on Democrats’ odds.
“And we [Republicans] plan on a very competitive election in California,” he said.
Of a potential primary challenge to Cruz, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX 10) said, “I just don’t want to talk about any of this.” (Politico)
A Cruz fundraising appeal Friday morning telegraphed his campaign's message against O'Rourke. "Despite any record of achievement and a progressive ideology out of touch with the majority of Texans, Beto O'Rourke will have the full support of the mainstream media and a Washington establishment willing to do everything in their power to see Ted Cruz defeated," Cruz says in the email. (release)