2024 may be the 1st year since 1972 no Texan runs for president

Greg Abbott, Ted Cruz
(Image credit: Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images)

At least one Texan has run in every U.S. presidential race since 1972, but 2024 may well break that 50-year streak, The Associated Press reports. President Biden hasn't decided if he is running for re-election, but the Republican race is wide open and the field may not be until shortly before the first GOP presidential debate in August. But so far, none of the likely Texas GOP candidates — Gov. Greg Abbott, Sen. Ted Cruz, and former Rep. Will Hurd — seem prepared to throw their hats in the ring.

Abbott will decide about running after the state Legislature adjourns in May, and he can "look at what the state of the race is, and does he have something that would be differentiating to the race that would be attractive to voters," Dave Carney, a chief strategist to Abbott and his predecessor Rick Perry, told AP. "Clearly, there's some constitutional amendment that voters supported back in the day that says, 'If you're a governor of Texas, you must consider running for president,'" he joked. "And many of them have. For good or bad."

Perry ran for president in 2012, alongside fellow Texan Ron Paul. An aide to Cruz, who ran for the GOP nomination in 2016, called the 50-year run of Texans running for president a "clever bit of trivia." The last Texans to run for president were former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D) and former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro (D) in 2020.

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Three Texans have actually won — Lyndon B. Johnson (1964), George H.W. Bush (1988), and George W. Bush (2000, 2004). But many have run.

"Since the modern era of presidential campaigning began in 1972, Texans have been involved in more cycles than any other state," AP reports, citing Eric Ostermeier at the University of Minnesota. But California has fielded more candidates in that time — 19 to Texas and New York's 15 candidates. You can read more clever Texas-related presidential trivia at The Associated Press.

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