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Cornyn War Room: Texas Democrats plan multi-million-dollar effort to unseat Republican


Texas Democrats announced Thursday that they are establishing a "Cornyn War Room" and plan to spend millions of dollars to unseat Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Emboldened by Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) closer-than-expected reelection race and significant gains made state-wide last fall, Democrats in Texas want to "define Cornyn before he defines himself," the group said in statement to The Hill.

“The Texas Democratic Party will do what’s never been done before and build a full war room. The size and scope of which have never been undertaken in Texas history. This War Room will allow us to capitalize on our successes in 2018, and unseat Cornyn in November 2020,” party executive director Manny Garcia said in the statement.

Cornyn responded to the effort Thursday, saying he hopes "they spend every last penny they get from their out of state puppet masters."

Texas Democrats see an opportunity to elect a Democratic senator in the state as polling suggests the state is leaning more blue than it has recently.

“Texas is the biggest battleground state in 2020. Polling shows Cornyn is unpopular, unknown, and weak. In a race against John Cornyn, our Democratic candidate is already within the margin of error,” Garcia said. “This same polling also shows that Senator Cornyn is one of the most unpopular politicians in the state of Texas -- even more so than Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.”

The group told the The Texas Tribune, who was the first to report the news, that the effort is being "funded, in part, by record-breaking fundraising, including the most successful February totals in Texas Democratic Party history," although no exact donation numbers have been shared.

While there are still 11 months until Texas's next Senate election, the group told the Tribune "we cannot wait for the primary dust to settle before we launch our attacks on John Cornyn."

Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), who ran unsuccessfully against Cruz last year, has eliminated himself from the running for Cornyn's seat by running for president in 2020.

Other prominent names being floated as Democratic challengers include Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and former Rep. M.J. Hegar (D-Texas).

Castro is reportedly closing in on a bid, while Hegar said Tuesday that she is "taking a very close look," according to the Tribune.

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