Democrat Chris Bell announced last week he’s considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2020. Having won elections for Congress in 2003 and the Houston city council in the late 1990s, his initial pitch to voters is experience.
“I think some of us who have been battling a long time shouldn’t be written off. We still have some experience and talents,” Bell, 59, told the Texas Signal. “Joe Biden is the front runner this year when he was an also ran in 2008. Things change.”
Bell, a well-respected attorney in Houston, notes he came closer to winning the Texas governor’s in 2006 “than any Democrat since Ann Richards.” Rick Perry won that election by less than 10 points.
MJ Hegar of Austin has declared her candidacy for the Senate seat, currently held by Republican John Cornyn. Other Democrats considering or rumored to get in the race include Amanda Edwards of Houston and Royce West of Dallas.
As a newly minted swing state, Texas has assumed a more prominent place in the national zeitgeist surrounding the 2020 elections.
“So many people are looking to Texas for guidance,” Bell said. “We’re perfectly positioned to lead on issues like immigration and climate change.”
Whichever Democrat makes it out of the Senate primary, he or she will likely be challenging Cornyn.
Political observers believe the election will cost an unprecedented $50 million.
Q&A with the candidate
Texas Signal: How would you grade Sen. Cornyn’s time in office as a senator?
Chris Bell: An “F.” He’s in a position to actually do something to stop Trump’s madness and has not only failed to do so but worse, has become an enabler.
TS: Do you think Texas – for once – will play a pivotal role in the 2020 presidential election?
CB: After 2018, we definitely should.
TS: Should you run, what would be three of your policy priorities?
CB: Passing Medicare for all or some real universal healthcare legislation. Banning assault weapons and requiring background checks. Passing legislation that will give government back to the people through ethics, lobbying and voting reform.
TS: Why do you love Texas?
CB: It’s such a big, diverse, interesting state and could show the nation the way forward if we get our act together (right now, we often show the wrong way). And it’s home – born here and have always lived here despite opportunities to go elsewhere.