If the Democrats want to achieve anything after taking back the White House they’ll need to take back the Senate as well. A Democratic presidency facing a GOP-controlled Senate would lead to a repeat of what happened after 2014, when Mitch McConnell repeatedly blocked the Obama administration’s attempts to pass legislation and nominate judges.
Texans will get to take part in the battle for the Senate in November, when Republican Sen. John Cornyn faces reelection. Currently, two candidates are headed for a runoff to determine who the Democratic nominee will be: state Sen. Royce West and Air Force veteran MJ Hegar.
Even in these unprecedented times, the Senate race continues. Here’s a quick update on the latest developments.
Royce West blasts John Cornyn over racist dog-whistling
Last week, Cornyn mocked West by calling him “Restful Royce.” The West campaign immediately slammed it as racist dog whistling. “Cornyn’s and his team’s choice of words … plays into longtime racial stereotypes of African Americans being lazy,” said West spokesman Vince Leibowitz.
West is running ads attacking Cornyn’s record on race. In addition to the Cornyn’s campaign mocking nickname, the ad cites Cornyn standing by Trump through numerous racist remarks, including when the president told four congresswomen of color to “go back” home (even though all are citizens and three were born in the United States).
Cornyn has come under accusations of racism and xenophobia regarding his statements about Chinese people and COVID-19. In March, he claimed that China was the source of many diseases “because [it’s] the culture where people eat bats and snakes and dogs and things like that.”
MJ Hegar raises money through fitness
Last week, Hegar launched a campaign where donors help assign her a workout challenge. Every donation would add a rep to her fitness routine. Donors can choose between bench presses, deadlifts, or shoulder presses. A recurring donation will add a push-up.
Hegar raised $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2020, so she’ll likely have quite the workout.
The Afghanistan veteran also announced on Thursday that she had administered the oath of office to a former intern turned second lieutenant. “I was so proud — but it was also a sobering moment,” tweeted Hegar. “After three tours in Afghanistan, I’m all too aware that we have a responsibility to those putting on the uniform today.”
Hegar and West will face off in a debate on June 6 that will be streamed online at 6 p.m. CST. The runoff is scheduled for July 14, after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photos: Royce West for U.S. Senate / MJ for Texas