On Monday, Royce West, a prominent Dallas-area Democrat, announced he was officially entering the U.S. Senate race to replace Cornyn. Royce has served in the Texas Senate since 1993. Like his other Democratic primary rivals, health care is his top issue.
“I can tell you that the number one issue that I’m going to attack is going to be that of healthcare,” West said in a new campaign video. “People shouldn’t have to work three and four jobs in order to pay for health insurance every month, I’m going to work very hard to make certain that pre-existing conditions [are covered] and insurance is available to all Americans.”
West is positioning himself as a bridge builder, not a firebrand progressive–but someone who “walks the walk.”
“I say to Democrats and Republicans: I will be a LBJ-type senator who sits down and gets the job done,” he said in his announcement speech Monday.
Team Cornyn, including its affiliated PAC, had an anti-West site ready and waiting in the wings, https://roycewestfacts.com, attempting to paint West as a “ultra-liberal.”
“If Texans want an Elizabeth Warren clone with a long record of radical positions, look no further than Royce West,” Cornyn campaign manager John Jackson told the Texas Tribune last week.
West’s entry into the race comes days after Houston city councilwoman Amanda Edwards announced her run for U.S. Senate. West will be joining Air Force helicopter pilot MJ Hegar, former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell, and others in the Democratic primary.
“Royce West is a strong leader, consensus-builder, and proven legislator,” Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa said in a statement.
Beyond the $9 million cash on hand, Cornyn’s advantage in an uncontested Republican primary is he can begin running a general election strategy.