Five years after Democrats came close to unseating Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas, a group of strategists has launched the "Lose Cruz" super PAC.
Backed by seven-figure funding, the super PAC will try to drive anti-Cruz messaging through rapid response, with ads online and on television. The first ad is expected next week.
“Ted Cruz has never been more vulnerable than he is this cycle,” said Sawyer Hackett, a Democratic strategist working as a senior adviser for the super PAC.
Since Cruz's 2.6-percentage-point win over Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke in 2018, Hackett said, “he has become infamous for a number of things” that the group plans to target, including his trip to Cancún, Mexico, during the winter storm that wiped out Texas’ power grid in 2021, his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election on Jan. 6, 2021, his attendance record in the Senate and his podcasting gig.
“He hosts three episodes a week talking about a whole bunch of stuff — none of which Texans care about whatsoever — and not doing his job,” Hackett said. “We’re laying the groundwork for a Democratic, independent, Republican coalition of voters who universally just dislike this guy and don’t trust him.”
“It’s not surprising that Democrats are already starting to pour money into Colin Allred’s campaign. He has no name ID and is running on a radical leftist record that Texans have rejected time and time again. Allred is a reflection of the current state of the Democrat Party in Texas: unpopular, unknown, and hopeless," a spokesman for Cruz's re-election campaign said in a statement.
Democratic Rep. Colin Allred, from Dallas, and state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, from San Antonio, are both running for the Democratic nomination to take on Cruz next year.
Allred, a former NFL player who defeated Republican Rep. Pete Sessions in a competitive 2018 race, is an early favorite thanks to his national profile.
Sean Haynes is the founder of the new group; he worked for the Fire Ted Cruz PAC in 2018 and said demographic shifts since then improve Democrats’ chances statewide.
“Cruz is very adept at manipulating the media. He is in and on all types of channels, and he likes to try and drive narrative,” he said. The PAC will “send a signal to help everyone stay on message — to not respond to what he’s saying but to attack what he’s doing.”
"It’s about him betraying the country and abandoning the state," Haynes added.
The Lose Cruz super PAC includes Texas political strategists and alumni from O’Rourke’s 2018 bid against Cruz. Democratic strategist Olivia Julianna, a 20-year-old strategist with a formidable social media following, is on the team as an unpaid senior adviser.
"I'm a fourth-generation Texan. I was born and raised in the state, and I'm not happy with the representation that I have," she said. "I'm happy to take on this position and do what I can with my platform to truly make a difference."