Keyword: Jonathan Tilove

As Cornyn and Hegar take the stage, has the script for the U.S. Senate campaign in Texas changed?

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

Bereft of a candidate with statewide stature and drowned out by the roar of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic calamity, the statewide run-off election to choose a Democratic nominee to challenge John Cornyn’s bid for a fourth term in the U.S. Senate limped to a conclusion Tuesday night, when self-declared outsider M.J. Hegar defeated longtime State Senator Royce West of Dallas by about 4 percentage points. The Texas-politics-as usual feel of this likely evasion, amplified by such a radically changed political environment  – the renewed confrontation with racism, the pandemic, the associated economic crash – raise a question: Do fundamental assumptions about both candidates’ positioning made in the early stages of the campaign last year still work for them?