Democrat Colin Allred to challenge Republican Ted Cruz for U.S. Senate seat

May 8, 2023

Democratic Representative Colin Allred (32nd District-Texas) announced on Wednesday, May 3, that he will challenge two-term Republican Senator Ted Cruz for his U.S. Senate seat in 2024, reports The Washington Post.

In a video posted to social media, Allred showed footage from the January 6, 2021, insurrection, in which a mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters overran the U.S. Capitol seeking to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral win.

On that day, Allred said in the video, he heard glass breaking and texted his wife to say, “Whatever happens, I love you,” then took off his jacket and “got ready to take on anyone who came through that door.” 

He slammed Cruz for voting against the certification of election results that day and for hiding in a storage closet during the attack.

“But that’s Ted for you: All hat, no cattle,” Allred said in the video.

Allred, a lawyer and former professional football player who was a linebacker for the Tennessee Titans, was first elected to Congress in 2018, defeating Republican incumbent Pete Sessions in an upset. In November, Allred won re-election to his third House term by more than 30 percentage points. He represents a portion of the Dallas area.

“Some people say a Democrat can’t win in Texas. Well, someone like me was never supposed to get this far,” Allred said in the video; recounting his childhood in Texas where he was raised by a single mother and never knew his father.

Because of that, Allred said, he became the first member of Congress to publicly take paid paternity leave in 2019. He took paternity leave again in 2021 after the birth of his second son, and has been a vocal proponent of national paid family leave.

“Being there for your partner and newborn during this critical period leads to better outcomes for kids, dads and their partners, and men taking paternity leave promotes equality for working moms,” Allred said in 2021.

Allred, 40, is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and serves on the House transportation and foreign affairs committees, as well as the newly formed GOP-led select committee on “the weaponization of the federal government.”

Cruz, 52, was first elected to the Senate in 2012. He won reelection in 2018 by fewer than 3 percentage points—fending off a challenge from Democrat Beto O’Rourke. Cruz also ran for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, ultimately suspending his campaign after losing the Indiana primary and later endorsing his primary rival, Trump.

While in office, Cruz has cheered the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, voted against a bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriages, voted against gun-control legislation, and argued for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

In a statement, Cruz campaign spokesman Nick Maddux said the Texas senator had been a “tireless champion” for the Lone Star State who would continue to support the oil and gas industries. The statement also knocked Allred for voting in line with Nancy Pelosi (D-California), the former House speaker, and for being “too extreme” for Texas.

Research contact: @washingtonpost