Joaquin Castro closing in on 2020 Senate bid: report

Joaquin Castro closing in on 2020 Senate bid: report
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroJuan Williams: Democrats finally hit Trump where it hurts Texas Democrats tap Joaquin Castro to deliver key address Assault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress MORE (D-Texas) is reportedly closing in on a bid to challenge Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape MORE (R-Texas) for his Senate seat in 2020.

Texas Monthly reported Friday that the San Antonio Democrat is “all but certain” to enter next year’s Senate contest, citing a source familiar with his thinking.

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Matthew Jones, a campaign adviser to Castro, said in an email that the congressman “will have an announcement in the near future.”

If Castro enters the race, he would become the first high-profile candidate to mount a campaign against Cornyn, a three-term Republican and former Senate majority whip with a well-financed political operation.

Cornyn's campaign closed out 2018 with a nearly $5.8 million campaign bank account.

Meanwhile, Castro’s House campaign finished the year with $128,000 on hand, according to his most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Cornyn's campaign office said it was looking forward to a potential challenge from Castro.

 

"Whether it’s Hurricane Harvey relief or the Green New Deal, time and again Congressman Castro has stood with Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhy President Trump needs to speak out on Hong Kong Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Pelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid MORE at the expense of Texans,” said John Jackson, Cornyn's campaign manager, in a statement.

“John Cornyn looks forward to contrasting the Democrat-Socialist agenda with the policies that have made Texas the best state to live, work, and raise a family.”

Castro has been floated for months as a potential challenger to Cornyn. But speculation of a Senate campaign had been overshadowed recently by rumors that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), whose 2018 challenge to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters Democrats keen to take on Cornyn despite formidable challenges MORE (R-Texas) drew intense national attention, could look to take on Cornyn instead.

O’Rourke ended months of speculation about his political future on Thursday, announcing that he would run for president in 2020 and leaving the Democratic field in the Texas Senate race wide open. 

Among O'Rourke's fellow hopefuls for the White House nomination is Castro's twin brother, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. 

News of a possible Senate announcement comes a day after the Senate passed a resolution overturning President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE’s national emergency declaration seeking funding to construct his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

That vote was seen as a victory for Castro, who initiated the resolution in the House. It passed in the lower chamber last month.

Trump vetoed the measure on Friday, the first veto of his presidency.

-- Updated at 6:32 p.m.