Democrat from Uvalde, Texas Enters bid for Senate Seat held by Ted Cruz

July 10, 2023

Roland Gutierrez (D), the Texas state Senator who represents Uvalde, announced his candidacy on Monday for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Ted Cruz (R).

“Ted Cruz abandoned Texas long before he left us to die in the winter storm,” Gutierrez tweeted, apparently referring to a trip to Cancun that Cruz took in 2021 amid a power grid failure during a deadly winter storm in Texas.

Gutierrez is set to face off against Rep. Colin Allred in the Democratic primary in March. Allred, a former NFL player who represents Dallas, has already amassed a war chest of more than $6 million.

Gutierrez is being spurred on in the aftermath of the May 24, 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, where 19 children and two adults were killed, making it the second deadliest school shooting U.S. history, after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut.

“Uvalde happened because Republicans neglected the systems in this state that are supposed to keep us safe,” Gutierrez said in his tweet. “It’s time we turn frustration into action! If you want to make a better Texas, this campaign is for you.”

Gutierrez has led calls for gun reform legislation since the Uvalde massacre, introducing several bills into the state Senate, though none received a vote on the Republican-led chamber’s floor. 

Cruz was first elected to the Senate in 2012. Texas Democrats saw an opportunity in 2018 to unseat him when then-U.S. Congress member Beto O’Rourke raised $80 million in that race. Ultimately, though, Cruz held onto his seat by a three-point victory over O’Rourke. 

Texas has not elected a Democrat statewide since 1994.

PHOTO: Roland Gutierrez campaign ad

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