Cornyn dodges challenge from prominent conservative activist

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has dodged a primary challenge from prominent evangelical historian David Barton, who announced on Wednesday that he won't run for Senate in 2014.

Barton revealed the news on Glenn Beck's "The Blaze" radio show, and said that though many people had urged him to run — including Beck himself — he had decided against it.

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“My family and I have carefully prayed about and seriously weighed the encouragement from so many people we respect who have asked me to run for the Senate,” Barton said. “But right now, I believe my role is to continue educating, equipping and inspiring citizens through the work we do at WallBuilders."

Beck said that he had contacted Barton about running and when told he was considering it, Beck "almost wet my pants because it was very exciting."

"It was a winnable thing," he said.

Barton was seen by Tea Partiers eager for a fight with Cornyn as one of the last remaining strong contenders for the race, after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) declined.

Barton said he didn't believe he had the infrastructure in place for a run, which he estimated would require him raising $200,000 a day from now until Election Day to win. Cornyn has nearly $7 million cash on hand and, anticipating a primary challenge, has already gone on air with an ad touting his conservative bona fides.

Cornyn has drawn a number of primary challengers already, but none are considered serious threats. And a recent survey from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling showed Cornyn far ahead of every possible challenger — though his approval rating with Republican primary voters is under 50 percent.

In a statement announcing his decision, Barton left the door open to a run at a future time.

"At this specific time my role will not be as a candidate, but I will continue to work side-by-side with you in the trenches to educate the nation, while also recruiting, training, and electing a new generation of conservative leaders," he said.