Cornyn to run for reelection in 2020

Cornyn to run for reelection in 2020
© Greg Nash

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynFrustration builds as negotiators struggle to reach COVID-19 deal Chamber of Commerce endorses Ernst for reelection Mini-exodus of Trump officials from Commerce to lobby on semiconductors MORE (R-Texas) said on Sunday that he will run for reelection in 2020.

"You know, I'm the vote counter for the Senate now as the majority whip, and I think it's frankly helpful, given my seniority and my position in leadership, to continue to serve," Cornyn said at the Texas Tribune festival.

He added that he would stay in the Senate "as long as Texans will have me" and that his seniority has benefits for the state, including a larger initial package of recovery aid for Hurricane Harvey.

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Cornyn is the Senate's second-ranking Republican. He is term-limited as majority whip after 2018.

The Texas Republican defeated several primary opponents, including then-Rep. Steve StockmanStephen (Steve) Ernest StockmanInmates break windows, set fires in riot at Kansas prison Wife of imprisoned former congressman cites COVID-19 risk in plea to Trump for husband's freedom Consequential GOP class of 1994 all but disappears MORE, in 2014 and won the general election with more than 61 percent of the vote.

Cornyn also said on Sunday that he is endorsing Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOn The Trail: The first signs of a post-Trump GOP Trump tests GOP loyalty with election tweet and stimulus strategy Republicans dismiss Trump proposal to delay election MORE (R-Texas) for his 2018 reelection bid.

Cruz, as one of the Senate's most vocal conservatives, has at times frustrated leadership with his tactics and accused Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP scrambles to fend off Kobach in Kansas primary Meadows: Election will be held on November third Don't let Trump distract us from the real threat of his presidency MORE (R-Ky.) of lying from the Senate floor.

"I told him I’d support him in his reelection, and I think it’s important to do so to send the message that Texans, when it comes to something like the recovery after this natural disaster, that we are going to stand together and not be distracted," Cornyn said on Sunday.

Cornyn had previously declined to endorse Cruz.

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Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) has been floated as potential primary challenger to Cruz.

"I'm not going to get involved in any primary races particularly with my colleagues in the Senate," Cornyn told CNN last year, when asked about the potential matchup. "We'll see what happens, but we've got plenty to worry about between now and November 2016 before we start worrying about November 2018."

--This report was updated at 1:28 p.m.