Beto Making the Rounds to Test the Waters for a Run Against Sen. John Cornyn


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Democratic rock star Beto O'Rourke met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer last week to talk about a potential run against Sen. John Cornyn, Politico reports citing an unnamed person familiar with the meeting.

O'Rourke, the former El Paso congressman who came close to beating Sen. Ted Cruz last year, has confirmed he's weighing a run for president, but he hasn't stated whether he's also eyeing Texas' other Republican-held senate seat.

Speculation has swirled that U.S. Representatives Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio and Michael McCaul, R-Austin, also might covet Cornyn's spot. However, Politico reports Castro is likely to support O'Rourke should he run.

"Joaquin believes Beto could beat John in 2020, and if Beto decides to see this thing through and do that, then Joaquin will give him his full support, just like he did against Ted Cruz,” an unnamed source close to Castro told the news site. “Otherwise, Joaquin will absolutely consider jumping in and finishing the job."

In the wake of November's Democratic surge, Cornyn appears nervous about his future job prospects. Nearly two years out from the 2020 contest, the Republican has amassed a $5.8 million campaign war chest, picked up prominent endorsements and started naming top-level campaign staff.

He also went on the record fretting about Texas' fading red hue.

"We are on the precipice of turning purple, and we've got a lot of work to do to keep it red, because we lost," Cornyn said. "We got blown out in the urban areas. We got beat in the suburbs, which used to be our traditional strongholds."

O’Rourke is expected to announce within the next two weeks whether he'll seek the Democratic nomination for president. And his hometown performance this week suggests that if he's not seeking the presidency, he's certainly got another office in mind.

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