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So who might run for Cornyn’s Senate seat?

The short answer is “pretty much anyone”, but there are several names that are on top of everyone’s list of imagined candidates.

Big John Cornyn

At least three members of the U.S. House are mulling a run for a possible U.S. Senate vacancy, should President Donald Trump appoint U.S. Sen. John Cornyn as the new FBI director.

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, an Austin Republican, is one of those hopefuls for the would-be vacancy, along with Democratic U.S. Reps. Joaquin Castro of San Antonio and Beto O’Rourke of El Paso.

“McCaul has put himself in a good position to be toward the top of the list of people who might succeed Sen. Cornyn,” a source close to McCaul told The Texas Tribune. “He’s built statewide name recognition and a political effort that could be quickly turned on for a statewide campaign for Senate.”

There was a similar readout on the Democratic side.

“If there’s a special election called, Joaquin would strongly consider that,” a source close to Castro told the Tribune of a would-be Senate vacancy.

“He’s already running for Senate, and … if an election came up for a Texas [U.S.] Senate [seat] before that, he would undoubtedly look at it,” a source close to O’Rourke told the Tribune. “There’s no question he would take a look at it.”

O’Rourke is currently running against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, as the junior senator aims for a second term in 2018. The O’Rourke source did not elaborate on what these deliberations might mean for the 2018 race.

See here for the background, and remember that this is all Wild Speculation. As I said before, this would be a free shot for any incumbent, so of course it makes sense for Joaquin Castro to look at it. The same is true for Beto O’Rourke, who can argue he’s already running a Senate campaign now, so he’d have a leg up. I would have a preference for Castro in this case, in part to ensure that we still have someone to run against Ted Cruz next year, but the main consideration would be having just one of them in and not both. This is because a race like this will almost certainly go to a runoff, and the odds of having a Dem in the runoff are better with one consensus candidate among a gaggle of Republicans than more than one Dem splitting the vote. Again, we are getting way ahead of ourselves, and it’s not like anyone can stop someone from running if they want to, but if it were up to me we’d have Joaquin Castro in the race with Beto O’Rourke staying focused on 2018.

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5 Comments

  1. Burt Levine says:

    Dan Patrick is more likely to jump in to me.

  2. Tom says:

    On the other hand, two Democrats against a gaggle of conservative candidates could end up with two Democrats making the runoff…

  3. brad m says:

    Let’s talk about something more important than a potential open US Senate seat…

    Anyone notice the similarities between John Cornyn, Roy Rogers and Howdy Doody’s sidekick Buffalo Bob?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howdy_Doody#/media/File:Buffalo_Bob_Smith_and_Howdy_Doody.jpg
    https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=3206&PIpi=96579

  4. Flypusher says:

    Cornyn is absolutely the worst choice to replace Comey because there is no way you could expect the much needed political neutrality from him. So no doubt he’s probably at the top of Trump’s list. Cornyn would be slavishly loyal.

    I hope Comey will testify publicly, under oath. If Trump did indeed demand Comey’s loyalty, that should chill the marrow of everyone who values living in a free society.

  5. General Grant says:

    Very unlikely vacancy. But….if there are four or more credible Republicans and no clear front runner, you might want two Democrats on the chance they both make the runoff.

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