On Monday, Sen. John Cornyn released an interestingly-timed video touting his support from President Trump and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. The move appears to tout his right-wing credentials ahead of what could be a major challenge by a Tea Party Republican.
State Sen. Pat Fallon of North Texas told the Dallas Morning News he is “seriously considering challenging Cornyn in the Republican primary next year.” He said Monday night is he forming an exploratory committee for a U.S. Senate campaign.
“It’s not about me,” Fallon said. “We need a viable choice in November.”
D Magazine named Fallon one of North Texas’ worst legislators in 2015. And he was named a 2019 “Faith and Family Champion” by Texas Values, the anti-LGBTQ group that also endorsed Fallon during his state senate election last year.
Based on polling from the Morning News, Cornyn–despite his 30-year career in Texas politics — is not widely known in Texas. A third of Texans were neutral or had no opinion of the senator.
Since the domestic terrorist attack in El Paso and mass shooting in Odessa last month, Cornyn is coming under fire for his policy positions on gun violence. Democratic Senate candidates last week took turns attacking Cornyn on guns, including organizer Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez who called gun violence a top issue and Houston City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards who criticized Cornyn’s relationship with the National Rifle Association. “I’ve gotten good grades most of my life but what I don’t want is an A+ from the NRA like John Cornyn,” Edwards said.
This story has been updated.