Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro won’t seek Democratic nomination to run against Sen. Ted Cruz

Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro told supporters today that he will not run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, which, had he won it, would have set up a race with incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz next year.

In an email to supporters, Castro explained his thinking:

“With the threats posed by Russia and North Korea, coupled with the reckless behavior of this administration and their failure to invest in economic opportunity for the American people, at this time I believe I can best continue that work by focusing on duties in the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees,” he said.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke had previously announced his intention to seek the nomination, and is thus far the only Democrat in the race.

The San Antonio Express News first reported Castro’s decision and also noted that “Castro is said to be mainly focused on rebuilding the Texas Democratic Party and is likely aware of the damage a loss to Cruz would cause to his brand.”

A statewide poll conducted last month showed Castro ahead of Cruz by a margin of 35  to 31 percent. O’Rourke and the incumbent were tied.

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