31 March, 2017
U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a Democrat, talks with Midlanders at Grub Burger earlier this month.
Asked by The Dallas Morning News on Wednesday, O'Rourke declined to confirm whether the "big announcement" would be the launch of his Senate campaign or discuss any details of what it would be about.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz will soon have a challenger in his bid to retain his seat in the Senate. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio is considering a bid. It was on that trip that Beto chose to run for Senate. He has toured the state in recent weeks, talking about his prospective Senate campaign in terms that made it sound like he has already reached a decision.
Cruz, a freshman Senator, looks to have an advantage in the race, being that it is in the state of Texas, a solid red state, versus a Democrat.
Castro told CNN that O'Rourke called him Tuesday night to let him know he chose to run for Senate.
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He held his press conference on Wednesday to make the vague announcements, which he was later forced to walk back . A House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday heard two bombshells dropped in testimony.
Joaquin Castro, who like O'Rourke is serving in his third term, is also weighing a run against Cruz and has said he will make a decision next month. O'Rourke is still relatively unknown in Washington and in Texas, and El Paso has never produced a statewide elected official.
Cruz, who was one of the last GOP candidates standing in the race to the White House, said he planned to run for re-election in May 2016. "We'll continue to work together where we can, but I don't think he's got a shot". The two billed their trip as a mobile town hall and broadcast it live on social media platforms to discuss issues such as health care, the Trump administration's travel ban and immigration reform.
"It's pretty clear that running and losing a Senate race is a better option than circling the drain in the permanent Democratic minority in the House", Katie Martin, National Republican Senatorial Committee communications director, told CNN. An able campaigner, the Texas senator boosted his national prominence previous year after finishing second in the crowded 2016 GOP presidential primary.