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Colin Allred: Former Linebacker Emerges Victorious in Texas Democratic Primary, Set to Challenge Sen. Ted Cruz

Who Is Colin Allred? Ex-Linebacker Wins Texas Democratic Primary to Challenge Sen. Ted Cruz

Democratic U.S. Representative Colin Allred, a former NFL player, secured victory in the Senate primary on Tuesday, positioning himself as an underdog candidate to challenge Republican Senator Ted Cruz.

Allred, who previously expressed dissent with his party’s approach to President Joe Biden’s management of the U.S.-Mexico border, successfully held off his primary rival, state Senator Roland Gutierrez. Gutierrez, known for his advocacy of stricter gun regulations following the Uvalde school shooting, courted the progressive faction within the Democratic Party.

Addressing his supporters, Allred emphasized the opportunity to replace Senator Cruz, stating, “We don’t have to be embarrassed by our senator… We can get a new one, and that’s what this is all about.”

The victory marks a significant feat for Democrats in Texas, where they haven’t clinched a statewide office in three decades. Despite this historical challenge, Democrats see potential in Texas and Florida for upsets in the upcoming November elections, aiming to maintain a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate.

Senator Cruz, who faced no significant primary challenge, secured the GOP nomination for a third term, expressing his anticipation of engaging with Texans across the state in the ensuing campaign.

Allred pledged to safeguard women’s reproductive rights, highlighting the importance of preventing policies that could compel women to seek healthcare outside their state.

Colin Allred

Colin Allred (Credits: The Guardian)

As the potential first Black senator from Texas, Allred has amassed over $21 million in campaign funds, significantly overshadowing his primary opponents. Throughout the primary, Allred predominantly directed his criticisms towards Cruz, while largely ignoring his fellow Democratic contenders.

For Cruz, this election cycle marks his first ballot appearance since a controversial 2021 trip to Mexico during a deadly winter storm in Texas. The incident, criticized by Democrats including Allred, remains a focal point of scrutiny. Despite this, Cruz has amassed a substantial campaign fund of over $46 million.

Allred gained attention earlier in the year for his support of a Republican-led resolution in Congress criticizing President Biden’s border policies. While facing criticism from Gutierrez for aligning with GOP positions, Allred defended his stance, emphasizing the need for urgent action at the federal level regarding border issues.

Cruz’s narrow victory over Beto O’Rourke in the 2018 election marked a significant challenge for Republicans in Texas, but subsequent Democratic momentum has been difficult to maintain. O’Rourke’s loss to Republican Governor Greg Abbott in 2022 underscored the ongoing challenges for Democrats in the state.

Jared Hockeman, chairman of the Democratic Party in Cameron County along the U.S.-Mexico border, acknowledges the slow but perceptible shifts in Texas politics, recognizing the ongoing effort required to translate momentum into electoral success.

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