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Report: Perry Encouraged McCaul to Challenge Cruz in 2018

Conversation reportedly took place while conservatives were angry at Cruz over Trump non-endorsement

Texas Rep. Michael McCaul was purportedly told late in the summer by former Gov. Rick Perry to vie for the Senate seat against Sen. Ted Cruz. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Texas Rep. Michael McCaul was purportedly told late in the summer by former Gov. Rick Perry to vie for the Senate seat against Sen. Ted Cruz. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry encouraged Rep. Michael McCaul over the summer to run against Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, Republican sources told The Texas Tribune.

A Perry spokesman did not confirm the story, saying only that “Rick Perry holds Michael McCaul in the highest esteem.” A Cruz spokesperson declined to comment to the Tribune, as well.

Cruz received flak for not endorsing the GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention in July. Instead, he told voters to vote their “conscience,” causing some of his detractors to begin seeking a candidate to challenge him for his 2018 re-election race. 

McCaul publicly criticized Cruz last week but did not address the murmurs of a possible Senate run. 

“I think he’s spent a lot of time since Day One running for president,” McCaul said in an interview with the Tribune. “I think we deserve somebody in the Senate who is going to be representing the interests of the state of Texas.”

A McCaul spokesman declined to talk about the reports with the outlet. 

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