At the very last minute, Representative Steve Stockman filed today to run challenge Republican senator John Cornyn of Texas in the 2014 elections.
Stockman, a darling of the grassroots with a penchant for controversial Twitter statements and headline-grabbing comments, is a very, very long shot. But he’s by far the most prominent threat to the senator, who has a number of other less well-known challengers. World Net Daily reported at about 7:30 p.m. today that the congressman would challenge Cornyn. The site says Stockman said he decided to run because he believes Cornyn “undermined Sen. Ted Cruz’s fight to stop Obamacare.” More from that article:
WND asked: What makes you think you can beat this entrenched incumbent?
“I don’t know that I can beat him, but I am sure going to try,” he said, adding that he thinks he has a shot because, “In Texas, conservative policies win over stabbing fellow Republicans in the back.”
Stockman will try to ride the wave of voter discontent with Obamacare.
In October, he was already predicting a silver lining to the failed attempt to defund the health-care law, telling WND, “In every loss, there can be a victory.”
Because Stockman filed so late, there aren’t any especially prominent East Texas Republicans running to fill his congressional seat, in southeast Texas’s 36th congressional district. As of 3:56 p.m., only Phil Fitzgerald, a former judge, and John Amdur (the address listed is a Houston P.O. box) have also filed to run for his seat. The surprising move has irked many Texas Republican insiders: One Austin consultant tells National Review Online that he believes Stockman went out of his way to keep his intentions secret from James White, a state representative from the district who probably would have run to fill the seat if he had known about Stockman’s statewide ambitions.
White may just wait for 2016: “No doubt about it, James White will run next year,” the consultant says.
“It’s a disappointment,” he adds, noting that a victorious White would be the only African-American Republican in the House (Tim Scott was appointed to the Senate in 2013 and Allen West lost his reelection in 2012).
UPDATE: Not everyone is disappointed. Matt Hoskins, the executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund, tells National Review Online that his group is considering an endorsement.
“We haven’t decided yet whether we will endorse Steve Stockman, but we’re excited about the potential here,” he e-mails. ”Texas deserves two conservative fighters in the Senate, not just one. John Cornyn has voted to increase the debt, raise taxes, bail out Wall Street banks, and fund Obamacare. He’s part of the problem in Washington and voters deserve an alternative.”
Meanwhile, Cornyn’s office released a statement this evening touting his endorsement from Texas Right to Life.
“Senator Cornyn looks forward to discussing his conservative record with Texans,” the senator’s campaign manager Brendan Steinhauser said in the statement.