Democrat challenger emerges to take on Ted Cruz in 2024

 February 22, 2023

An obscure Democratic congressman is reportedly planning to challenge Texas senator Ted Cruz (R) in 2024.

Dallas Rep. Colin Allred has begun discussing his ambitions with party operatives, reports say.

Allred won election to his 32nd district in 2018 during the Democrats' "wave" year. The former Obama official and NFL player has won re-election twice.

Cruz challenger emerges

The state's Democrats don't seem to think Allred's relative obscurity is a concern.

“If Congressman Allred does run, he would be an amazing candidate and would be able to go toe-to-toe with Ted Cruz,” said Kristy Noble, chair of the Dallas County Democrats. “He would be able to bring more Texas values to the senate than Ted Cruz.”

Although largely unknown nationally, Allred is already being described as a "rising star" in left-leaning media. It's a term that comes laden with some bad luck, to say the least.

Rising star?

Beto O'Rourke, a one-time "rising star" of the left, lost to Cruz in 2018 when the senator was running for a second term.

Cruz won 50.9 percent of the vote despite being outraised nearly 2-1 by O'Rourke, who raised a record-breaking $80 million.

O'Rourke went on to run an anemic presidential campaign in 2020 before falling short again in 2022 against Texas' Republican governor Greg Abbott, who won re-election by double-digits, giving Dems hopeful of turning the state a reality check.

Another "rising star" on the left, Stacey Abrams, lost a rematch with Georgia governor Brian Kemp (R) last year.

Cruz ready to fight

Is Allred the Democratic party's next astroturfed celebrity candidate? We'll just have to wait and see.

Cruz, who has already committed to seeking a third term, is projecting confidence about his chances of victory. 

“I have no doubt that Democrats will dump a whole lot of money into it,” Cruz said.

"In 2018, it was the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history … And there are a lot of national Democrats who want to do everything they can to try to defeat me. I don’t think they’re going to succeed.”

Cruz's seat is not particularly vulnerable -- indeed, the Senate map next cycle is largely seen as a bloodbath for Democrats, who will be defending red states like West Virginia and Montana.

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