Ted Cruz will face a tough new Democratic challenger in 2018 (Details)

Image via AP/Bloomberg

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) will officially announce Friday that he plans to challenge Ted Cruz for his Senate seat. That race will take place in 2018.

O’Rourke made headlines earlier this month when he joined a Republican lawmaker, Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX), on a cross-country road trip to DC after storms grounded all flights. Along the way the pair live-streamed themselves jamming to music and fielding questions from citizens.

During his time in Congress, O’Rourke has worked to improve foster care programs and is a strong advocate for gun control. He is also a steadfast proponent of term limits and already pledged not to serve more than four terms in his current seat.

This isn’t expected to be an easy challenge for O’Rourke. Cruz showed a lot of strength by finishing second in the last GOP primary.

O’Rourke speaking with constituents. Photo: James Durbin / My SanAntonio

“The challenge will be for Beto or anyone else running in a Senate race against Cruz to have the resources and the megaphone big enough to tell their story statewide,” says Matt Angle, who runs an organization that supports Texas Democrats.

“I think Ted Cruz has been taking on water since the day he announced for president,” said Angle, who believes Cruz has more of a national following than he does in Texas. “He’s barely a senator.”

Because of that national attention, any opponent of Cruz may be able to raise grassroots money online from many outside of Texas.

“I can see O’Rourke using that to raise money online” from small donors, says Geoffrey Skelley, who works for the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics.

Cruz was one of the conservatives who voted against the recent ACA replacement. It’s hard to tell how that will play out among his base in 2018.


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