has promised a decision by the end of April.
“It’s no secret that Joaquín is heavily weighing a Senate run, and he will continue to have those discussions with his family, friends and supporters across Texas,” Castro’s political director, Matthew Jones, said in a state- ment Wednesday. “He plans to make his decision in the coming weeks.”
Castro would have advantages over O’Rourke in a primary. He is better-known and has a larger network of supporters. But he has been considered a far less certain candidate. Both O’Ro- urke, 44, and Castro, 42, are in their third terms in the House. O’Rourke has prom- ised not to serve more than four terms while Castro has a potentially longer, brighter future there. He serves on the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating potential Russia ties to the Trump campaign and Trump administration.
O’Rourke, little known outside his district, would be a long shot in a state that remains reliably Republican. But the Trump presidency adds an element of uncer- tainty to political calculations everywhere in 2018, and O’Ro- urke’s recent bipartisan road trip with U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, demonstrated a talent for winning positive notice and using social media to engage a large audience.
O’Rourke — a fluent Spanish speaker who lives on the border and says that it is the safest and best place to be — would offer a stark contrast to the politics of Cruz and Trump.
O’Rourke would be expected to make any announcement in his hometown, at the far western edge of Texas. No one from El Paso has ever been elected to statewide office in Texas.
ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, who works in Austin and lives in Wimberley, is considering an independent candidacy for the Cruz seat, which he believes is the only way Cruz can be beaten.