Joaquin Castro declines Senate run in Texas, opening door for Cruz-O’Rourke showdown

May 2, 2017

Rep. Joaquin Castro
Credit Miguel Gutierrez Jr / KUT

A recent poll found that, in a head-to-head matchup, sitting U.S. Senator Ted Cruz would lose to Democratic challenger Rep. Joaquin Castro if the election were held today.

Now, as POLITICO reports, that scenario appears to be an impossibility. Castro announced this week that he would not run for the Senate, instead remaining in the House to focus on national security issues.

Joaquin Castro and his twin brother Julian are believed by many insiders to hold bright futures in Texas Democratic politics, and Julian was on the shortlist for a VP spot on the Clinton ticket last year.

Meanwhile, Joaquin Castro’s absence from the Senate race opens a wide path for challenger Beto O’Rourke, the young Congressman from El Paso who announced his candidacy last month. O’Rourke is already hard at work campaigning, having paid a visit to Amarillo last Saturday, where he was greeted by a sizable crowd of well-wishers.

In the same recent poll of registered Texas voters, Cruz and O’Rourke were shown to be tied.