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Rep. Colin Allred to face Ted Cruz after Texas Democratic primary win

Democrats are eyeing the race as a potential route to flip a U.S. Senate seat in their favor come November.
Rep. Colin Allred to face Ted Cruz after Texas Democratic primary win
Posted at 11:28 PM, Mar 05, 2024

Texas Rep. Colin Allred is the projected winner of the state's Democratic Senate primary, locking him into what's expected to be a closely watched fight against incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz come November.

Allred was considered a front-runner in both fundraising and polling ahead of the Super Tuesday race, which landed him with almost 60% of the vote among eight other Democrats.

The former NFL player and three-term congressman from Dallas had touted himself as the most electable candidate of the crowded field, while his runner-up, State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, ran as a more progressive voice in the race. The attorney, who garnered 17% of the vote, had been the most vocal about gun control in the state, particularly after the Uvalde school shooting in his district. 

SEE MORE: LIVE RESULTS: Biden, Trump dominate Super Tuesday

As for Cruz, the two-term senator officially snagged the GOP nomination away from two other Republican hopefuls earlier Tuesday after an uncompetitive race — a stark difference from Cruz's last reelection campaign in 2018, which ended in a less-than-three percentage point win over Democrat Beto O'Rourke.

That was the closest the Democratic Party has come to winning a statewide race in Texas in 30 years, and despite a lack in momentum since, the party is hoping this will finally be the year voters come through to secure a flip. 

Though Cruz has been in office since 2013, Democrats see his waning favorability, as evidenced by the Texas Politics Project, as one of the best opportunities to add a number to their 51-49 Senate majority. However, recent polling shows Cruz still leads Allred by 14 points, and the Republican's backers argue he still holds high approval ratings among state officials.

If elected though, it won't be the first time Allred has beaten out a longtime GOP incumbent. His first election to his post in 2018 came after besting Republican Pete Sessions, who had represented the 32nd district since its creation in 2003. A win would also make Allred the first Black senator in Texas' history.

So far on the campaign trail, the Democrat has proudly touted his bipartisan accomplishments in Congress, but that's also opened him up to criticism, particularly from Gutierrez who criticized the nominee for leaning toward the political right. This came after Allred was one of 14 Democrats to support a Republican resolution that denounced the Biden administration's border policies — a vote he said was tough for him to make. 

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