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December 10, 2013 10:55 AM Another Primary Challenge Emerges

By Ed Kilgore

A lot of folks thought Sen. John Cornyn had dodged a primary bullet when “historian” David Barton took a pass on challenging the senior senator from Texas. But at the last minute before qualifying ended for the March 2014 primary, the Texas Congressional Delegation’s zaniest member this side of Louie Gohmert, Rep. Steve Stockman, took up the banner of True Conservatism, and so Cornyn will spend much of the next few months frothing at the mouth and aping his junior colleague Ted Cruz.

In that respect and others, the Texas primary will parallel Kentucky’s. Just as Mitch McConnell is banking heavily on Rand Paul’s endorsement to survive a challenge from Matt Bevin, Cornyn will try to associate himself with Cruz, who is formally neutral in the race. But impeachment zealot Stockman will provide a lot of ideological litmus tests for the incumbent to pass or fail. So for a while at least, Texas will be represented in the Senate by Ted Cruz and Steve Stockman, who will get to manipulate Cornyn’s vote like a puppet-master.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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