The progressive group Democracy for America (DFA) is endorsing Texas state Sen. Royce West (D) in the Senate Democratic primary runoff against Mary Jennings Hegar (D), who is backed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Hegar and West were the top two finishers in the crowded early March primary, sending them off to a runoff contest that will take place on July 14 and determine who moves forward to face Sen. John CornynJohn CornynAbbott bows to Trump pressure on Texas election audit Senate panel advances antitrust bill that eyes Google, Facebook Democrats up ante in risky debt ceiling fight MORE (R-Texas) in November.
Hegar finished the March primary with 22 percent support, compared to 14.5 percent for West.
Hegar will have a fundraising advantage and institutional support from national Democrats, but West could get a boost from progressives rallying around him.
“Only one candidate in July’s Senate run-off in Texas is a tested fighter for progressive priorities like criminal justice reform, common-sense gun legislation, and a fair wage, and that’s why Democracy for America is excited to endorse Royce West for U.S. Senate,” said DFA CEO Yvette Simpson.
“Not only does Royce West give Texas Democrats an opportunity to nominate a candidate who has won office before, but when he’s elected he’ll be the first African American to represent Texas, an emerging majority-minority state, in the U.S. Senate and potentially just the fourth Black member of Congress’ upper chamber in Jan. 2021,” she added.
West has spent 27 years in the Texas state Senate.
Hegar, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, rose to national prominence by falling to Rep. John CarterJohn Rice CarterBottom line READ: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results House Republicans who didn't sign onto the Texas lawsuit MORE (R-Texas) in 2018 by less than 3 points. Carter won the district by more than 20 points in 2016.
Cornyn will have a massive cash advantage over whoever he faces, finishing the first quarter of the year with $12.9 million in the bank. Hegar has $1.1 million and West has $120,000.
In addition to West, DFA has endorsed Jaime Harrison in South Carolina, Teresa Tomlinson and Raphael Warnock in Georgia, Theresa Greenfield in Iowa, Cal Cunningham in North Carolina and Betsy Sweet in Maine.