Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroTop Hispanic Caucus members endorse Melissa Mark-Viverito in NY House primary Ousted watchdog says he told top State aides about Pompeo probe CHC says George Floyd death shows ‘tiny fraction’ of what people of color confront in their daily lives MORE (D-Texas) is reportedly closing in on a bid to challenge Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate headed for late night vote amid standoff over lands bill Koch-backed group launches ad campaign to support four vulnerable GOP senators Tim Scott to introduce GOP police reform bill next week MORE (R-Texas) for his Senate seat in 2020.
Texas Monthly reported Friday that the San Antonio Democrat is “all but certain” to enter next year’s Senate contest, citing a source familiar with his thinking.
Matthew Jones, a campaign adviser to Castro, said in an email that the congressman “will have an announcement in the near future.”
If Castro enters the race, he would become the first high-profile candidate to mount a campaign against Cornyn, a three-term Republican and former Senate majority whip with a well-financed political operation.
Cornyn’s campaign closed out 2018 with a nearly $5.8 million campaign bank account.
Meanwhile, Castro’s House campaign finished the year with $128,000 on hand, according to his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Cornyn’s campaign office said it was looking forward to a potential challenge from Castro.
“Whether it’s Hurricane Harvey relief or the Green New Deal, time and again Congressman Castro has stood with Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Pelosi: Georgia primary ‘disgrace’ could preview an election debacle in November MORE at the expense of Texans,” said John Jackson, Cornyn’s campaign manager, in a statement.
“John Cornyn looks forward to contrasting the Democrat-Socialist agenda with the policies that have made Texas the best state to live, work, and raise a family.”
Castro has been floated for months as a potential challenger to Cornyn. But speculation of a Senate campaign had been overshadowed recently by rumors that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), whose 2018 challenge to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R-Texas) drew intense national attention, could look to take on Cornyn instead.
O’Rourke ended months of speculation about his political future on Thursday, announcing that he would run for president in 2020 and leaving the Democratic field in the Texas Senate race wide open.
Among O’Rourke’s fellow hopefuls for the White House nomination is Castro’s twin brother, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.
News of a possible Senate announcement comes a day after the Senate passed a resolution overturning President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s national emergency declaration seeking funding to construct his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
That vote was seen as a victory for Castro, who initiated the resolution in the House. It passed in the lower chamber last month.
Trump vetoed the measure on Friday, the first veto of his presidency.
— Updated at 6:32 p.m.