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Texas Rep. Colin Allred prepares challenge to Sen. Ted Cruz

Democratic former NFL player seen as rising star in party

Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas, is preparing to run for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Sen. Ted Cruz next year.
Rep. Colin Allred, D-Texas, is preparing to run for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Sen. Ted Cruz next year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic Rep. Colin Allred of Texas, a former Baylor University football standout and civil rights lawyer serving his third term in the House, is jumping into the Senate race.

Allred is preparing to kick off a run against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, Politico reported Monday, citing two sources. The Dallas Morning News also reported the news, citing four sources.

Cruz has held the Senate seat since 2013 and made an unsuccessful run for president three years later. In 2018, he won reelection by nearly 3 percentage points over then-Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat.

Allred’s candidacy will once again test Democrats’ hopes that Texas is becoming a politically purple state.

Allred was first elected to Congress in 2018, flipping a suburban Dallas district by unseating Republican Pete Sessions. He is viewed by Democrats as a rising star within the party.

House Democrats elected him to the largely ceremonial role of co-president of the 2018 class, the party’s largest since 1993. Two weeks into his first term, he led the Democratic charge to defend the 2010 health care law, also known as the Affordable Care Act, from a GOP-led lawsuit attempting to repeal it. 

Although he is best known as a former linebacker who played for the Tennessee Titans, Allred came to Capitol Hill with substantial Washington experience. He worked in the general counsel’s office in the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama and as a civil rights attorney at the D.C.-based law firm Perkins Coie, which has a reputation for advocating for Democratic candidates and issues.

Teresa Cardenas contributed to this report.

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