Speed Reads

Election 2018

This former punk rocker wants to challenge Ted Cruz for his Senate seat

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) might want to watch out; there's a new punk rocker in town.

Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas) reportedly plans to declare Friday that he is running for Cruz's Senate seat in 2018, people familiar with the decision have told The Houston Chronicle. Described by the paper as a pro-marijuana term-limit-supporting liberal who "played in three punk rock bands during and after his college years at Columbia University," O'Rourke, 44, said he was "very moved" to run for Senate in an interview earlier this month.

While Cruz failed in his bid for the presidency last year, he still has a wealth of fundraising sources across the nation and O'Rourke would face an uphill battle against him in the perennial red state. But "Beto brings a fresh approach, a new face, and is someone who is able to connect with Texans across the board," said Matt Angle, the executive director of the Lone Star Project, which promotes Democrats in Texas.

Additionally, because Cruz, as a conservative leader, is a juicy target for liberal groups, O'Rourke could also potentially attract the attention of the senator's out-of-state opponents — and their money.

May the best punk rocker win.