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Air Force Veteran Announces Plan to Run Against John Cornyn and Creates a Primary Challenge for Joaquin Castro

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MJ Hegar, left, and son Daniel meet with Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke. - TWITTER / @MJHEGAR
  • Twitter / @MJHegar
  • MJ Hegar, left, and son Daniel meet with Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke.
Looks like Joaquin Castro's anticipated run to unseat three-term Sen. John Cornyn in 2020 has gotten more complicated.

MJ Hegar — the former Air Force helicopter pilot who undertook a scrappy, headline-grabbing campaign against Republican U.S. Rep. John Carter of Round Rock — has formally announced she'll run against Cornyn. Hegar turned out to be a solid fundraiser in the 2018 midterms and lost in a traditionally GOP-held district by fewer than 3 percentage points.

Castro, a San Antonio Democrat and twin brother of presidential hopeful Julián Castro, is widely expected to make his announcement soon. Meanwhile, Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards is also weighing a candidacy and three lesser-known Dems have already thrown their hats into the ring.

A Castro associate told the Texas Tribune the presence of another high-profile Democratic contender isn't scaring his boss away.

"Every candidate in this race has announced on their own timeline and is making their own case to the voters of Texas," Castro adviser Matt Jones said. "Joaquin is no different. The last two campaigns he has fought, and won, started with a tough primary."

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