A few weeks ago, I wrote about why MJ Hegar would be a much better candidate than Wendy Davis for the Texas US Senate race in 2020. Since then, things have shaken up a little bit. Hegar is becoming a little more interested in challenging Congressman John Carter, who she nearly beat in 2018, a second time. This largely corresponded with Congressman Joaquin Castro (Former HHS Secretary and current Presidential Candidate Julian Castro’s twin brother) showing more interest in the Senate race. At the same time, Wendy Davis has still shown an openness to entering the race.
If the Democrats’ main goal is to win the race, Joaquin Castro would be a strong choice. He is similar to Beto O’Rourke in that while he is progressive, he maintains a willingness to reach out to moderates and voters who aren’t hyper-partisan. Castro also has an advantage over O’Rourke in that while O’Rourke struggled with Latino voters in his run against Ted Cruz, Castro has done well with that demographic.
EMILY’s List, the Democratic Pro-Choice organization, was not happy with this. Today, they came out in favor of a Democratic woman representing the Party in this race. This presumably refers specifically to former Texas State Legislator Wendy Davis, famous for being a pro-choice extremist and for getting trounced by Gov. Greg Abbott in the 2014 Gubernatorial Campaign.
Texas Democrats have a major opportunity in front of them right now. They just put up their best performance in Statewide elections in several election cycles. It is very possible that one of their own will be on the Democrats’ Presidential Ticket in 2020. While Senator Cornyn isn’t as polarizing as Senator Cruz, he is certainly vulnerable under the right circumstances. Running a candidate most notable for being an abortion extremist and losing by a large margin before is not the right circumstance. I’m not a Democrat, so it’s not necessarily my skin on the line. At the same time, though, Texas Democrats (like National Democrats) will have to decide if they want an ideological extremist or a progressive who can win. In Texas, though, Democrats have a much smaller margin of error, and will have to tread carefully.