Joaquin Castro won't run for Senate in Texas

Joaquin Castro won't run for Senate in Texas
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroThe Hill's Morning Report - Crunch time arrives for 2020 Dems with debates on deck Hispanic Caucus seeks to retain voice in House leadership Joaquin Castro calls out MSNBC contributor for confusing him with twin brother Julián on air MORE (D-Texas) will not challenge Sen. John CornynJohn CornynSenate passes .5 billion border bill, setting up fight with House 2020 debates complicate Senate plans for vote on Trump's war authority Senate GOP to defeat proposal requiring approval for Iran attack MORE (R-Texas) in 2020, according to an interview he did with Hearst Newspapers.

"Right now, I’m going to focus on my work in the House of Representatives. I’ve been doing what I feel is important and meaningful work here," Castro said in the interview, which was carried by the Houston Chronicle. "If and when I run for another office, it is likely to be something that takes me back home to Texas."

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Castro becomes the latest high-profile Democrat to decline to run for the Senate, where Republicans hold a 53-seat majority.

Democrats had expected to mount a big push to retake the Senate next year, given that Republicans are defending 22 seats, while Democrats have 12 seats on the table. 

But earlier this week, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams confirmed she would not challenge Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.).

Other Democrats have decided to run for president in 2020 instead, including former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn Wright Hickenlooper2020 Democrats spar over socialism ahead of first debate Hickenlooper laughs off lack of recognition by security guard at Democratic debate Where 2020 Democrats stand in betting markets ahead of first debate MORE, who opted not to challenge Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerMcSally on Moore running for Senate again: 'This place has enough creepy old men' Hillicon Valley: Senate sets hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency plans | FTC reportedly investigating YouTube over children's privacy | GOP senator riles tech with bill targeting liability shield | FAA pushed to approve drone deliveries Senate panel advances bill to protect government devices against cyber threats MORE (R-Colo.), and Castro's twin brother, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

Joaquin Castro’s decision will mean a clearer path to the Democratic nomination for MJ Hegar, an Air Force veteran who narrowly lost a House race to Rep. John CarterJohn Rice CarterGOP frets about Trump's poll numbers The Hill's Morning Report - Democrats wonder: Can Nadler handle the Trump probe? Current, former lawmakers celebrate release of new book on Jack Brooks, 'The Meanest Man in Congress' MORE (R-Texas) in 2018 and who announced her candidacy for Senate in Texas last week. 

Castro said he was impressed with Hegar, telling the publication that regardless of who was nominated, "I’ll do everything I can to help our Democratic nominee win."