In a brief press conference this afternoon at Travis County Democratic Party headquarters, first-round third-place finisher Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez announced her support for state Sen. Royce West, who ran second to MJ Hegar In the March 3 Democratic primary race for U.S. Senate.
Hegar led in the March 3 voting with 22% of the vote. West garnered 14.5%, and Tzintzún Ramirez 13.2%, but the latter two were neck-and-neck all night, with late returns and glitches on the new Secretary of State website meaning the outcome wasn’t certain until almost noon the following day. "The last minute," said West. He and Hegar will face off in the May 26 Democratic primary run-off.
Tzintzún Ramirez said she believes strongly that West is the better choice for Texas voters, because he is strongest “on every single issue that I care about as a progressive.” West said he was delighted to have her support, as a major step toward building a coalition of African American and Hispanic voters to help take on incumbent Republican Sen. John Cornyn. The two candidates were joined by Travis County Precinct 3 Constable Stacy Suits and Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder, also announcing their support for West.
There were 12 Democratic primary candidates for the U.S. Senate nomination in all, and West told the Chronicle he has also begun to reach out to the others and ask for support – he expects to announce the endorsements of former Houston Congressman Chris Bell and Beaumont pastor Michael Cooper later this week.
In response to West’s announcement today, Hegar campaign spokesperson Amanda Sherman told the Chronicle (in part), “MJ is going to continue focusing on what secured her the top spot in the primary – traveling tens of thousands of miles across the state to meet with voters from all backgrounds and continuing to grow her Texas-sized grassroots campaign that has brought together over 35,000 people to raise over $4 million dollars.… MJ is building a broad coalition across Texas that makes her the candidate to defeat Senator Cornyn in November.”
For more on this race and other ongoing Texas and Travis County campaigns, follow the Daily News and this week’s print edition of the Chronicle.
Copyright © 2022 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.