The Dallas Morning News
De Stefano in GOP primary for U.S. Senate
Texas Republicans have an opportunity in the March 6 primary featuring incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz and four Republican opponents to vote for the kind of public leadership that inspires America rather than divides it. A kind of leadership that gives America its best chance to address the very real challenges ahead.
To make the most of the moment, we urge voters to choose Houston energy lawyer Stefano de Stefano over Cruz. De Stefano, 37, is an earnest if mostly untested conservative who offers Republicans a way past the bruising style that has characterized Cruz’s time in public life.
De Stefano’s views on immigration, energy, health care, the economy and social issues are conservative, but less reflexively so. And he is solution-oriented.
Just this week, as the Senate took a rare step toward an open, bipartisan debate over immigration, Cruz stood alone in opposition. Ninety-seven votes in favor; only Cruz voted no.
De Stefano says he would have voted yes to have the debate, then worked to find a solution that works best for Texas. In explaining his platform, he offers a simple promise: a “return to normalcy.”
Our senator has made few allies, even among Republicans in the Senate. He has a thin legislative record to show for it, though he has been more focused since the end of his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. This shift toward productive results enabled him to push for billions in Hurricane Harvey relief for Texas and steer a bipartisan NASA authorization bill to passage. Texas would be well served if it saw more of that work from its junior senator.
But last year’s NASA bill is one of just two bills in five years on which he’s been the sole sponsor that have become law. By comparison, Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, a Republican elected in 2014, has had three times as many.
Cruz’s elbows have been so sharp and his disdain for deal-making so pronounced, that he’s often stymied his own party’s agenda. In 2013, he helped shut down the government to protest the Affordable Care Act. Even fellow GOP senators criticized the effort as grandstanding. Upset over a setback over the Export-Import Bank in 2015, he called the Senate’s Republican leader a liar, poisoning prospects for progress.
Three other challengers in this primary — the former mayor of La Marque, Geraldine Sam; Austin CPA Mary Miller, 55; and Christian TV executive Bruce Jacobson Jr., 57, of North Richland Hills — are also in the race. But de Stefano’s mix of pragmatism and principle makes him the best choice for a Republican Party angling to help America move forward rather than see it further divided.