Ted Cruz has created a new brand for other Texas Republican to emulate.
Or, depending on your point of view, he has created a monster.
The Texas Tribune’s Aman Batheja looks at the Cruz model while analyzing the budding campaign for the U.S. Senate by Steve Stockman, the current congressman from the 36th Congressional District along the Gulf Coast.
Stockman has launched a long-shot — some would say very long-shot — bid to unseat U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in this March’s Texas Republican primary. Batheja reports that Stockman appears to be patterning his campaign after the successful effort in 2012 of Cruz, who defeated the heavily favored Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a fight over who should succeed former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who retired from public life.
Both men are combative. They both proclaim themselves to be true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool Texas conservatives. They are unafraid to fight with foes in the other party, not to mention those within their own party.
Batheja makes an important contrast, though, in the two men’s history. Stockman served a single term, from 1995 to 1997, in Congress before losing his bid for re-election and he’s giving up his second term to run for the Senate. Cruz, on the other hand, has served as Texas solicitor general and has argued on behalf of the state’s legal interests before the U.S. Supreme Court on several occasions.
Stockman might see himself as the next Ted Cruz, but he lacks Cruz’s resume.
Still, this candidacy sets up an interesting contest for the heart and soul of the Texas Republican Party.
He surely could do worse than following the example set by Sen. Cruz.