WASHINGTON — One of Washington’s most reliably conservative lawmakers is breaking the news that he will challenge a mainstay of the Republican establishment – all because the incumbent GOP senator “undermined Sen. Ted Cruz’s fight to stop Obamacare.”
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, told WND exclusively that he will run against against Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in the state’s primary race. Cornyn is running for re-election to the U.S. Senate in 2014.
With his campaign little more than an hour old, Stockman had already picked up some major support.
Jenny Beth Martin, president and co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, told WND, “Congressman Stockman has proven himself to be a fighter for freedom who votes in the House of Representatives based on constitutional principles. We need more senators who will do the same.”
Martin added, “The campaign will be interesting to watch unfold over the next few months as Stockman campaigns on these values, reminding Texans why they value their freedom and independence and why they need to change Washington, D.C., where the government has grown too big and too powerful.”
Stockman told WND he is filing the paperwork Monday evening and that he is running against his fellow Republican because, “We are extremely disappointed in the way he treated his fellow congressmen and broke the 11th commandment and undermined (Sen.) Ted Cruz’s fight to stop Obamacare.”
The Texan added, “And now, it looks like Cruz was right and Cornyn was wrong. He (Cornyn) sided with the president, essentially, in making sure Obamacare became law while Cruz did everything possible to stop it.”
It wasn’t just what Cornyn did, but how he did it, that rankled Stockman.
“If you disagree with someone, that’s fine, but I really believe you should do it privately, not so publicly,” he said. “He made a big show of removing his name from a letter supporting Cruz.”
Stockman sounded as if he couldn’t wait to take on this new challenge.
“We think he needs to be held accountable for his decisions, and we look forward to a vigorous campaign,” he said.
The congressman also expects it will be tough to unseat the incumbent, saying, “I know John is in the habit of attacking conservatives. He didn’t back (Sen.) Marco Rubio, and he didn’t back (former Senate candidate) Joe Miller in Alaska.”
The Texan had been keeping his decision to run close to the vest, until informing WND.
He said even Cruz doesn’t know about his decision yet.
Stockman is risking his place in Congress, because running for the Senate means he will have to give up his seat in the House of Representatives.
Cornyn wields a lot of power after 10 years in Washington and has been a member of the Republican Senate leadership since 2006. He was chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee for the 2010 and 2012 election cycles. In 2012, he became Minority Whip for the 113th Congress.
WND asked: What makes you think you can beat this entrenched incumbent?
“I don’t know that I can beat him, but I am sure going to try,” he said, adding that he thinks he has a shot because, “In Texas, conservative policies win over stabbing fellow Republicans in the back.”
Stockman will try to ride the wave of voter discontent with Obamacare.
In October, he was already predicting a silver lining to the failed attempt to defund the health-care law, telling WND, “In every loss, there can be a victory.”
Just as the loss at the Alamo led to the creation of Texas, he explained, the losing battle to stop Obamacare is becoming a victory, because Democrats will now have to explain why their health-care law has turned out to be such a disaster.
In November, WND profiled Stockman’s reputation as one of Capitol Hill’s most popular members on Twitter, using his pithy but pungent tweets to deliver scathing indictments of Democrats, often with a characteristically wry sense of humor.
In October, Stockman detailed to WND how and why Obamacare would boomerang for Democrats.
Also in October, the Texan spoke with WND and passionately defended House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who had come under a biting attack by the administration for supporting the effort to defund Obamacare. Despite the fact Stockman had opposed Boehner’s re-election as speaker, the Texan felt it was outrageous that President Obama would negotiate with Iran but not with the House leader.
And in August, Stockman told WND he had attorneys investigating whether the president had violated the Constitution. He said, if so, it would be time to carefully begin to consider impeachment, but, he cautioned, “[I]t’s the last resort, and it’s a very serious step.”
Prior to his election in 2012, Stockman served in Congress from 1995-97. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Stockman and his wife of 25 years, Patti, live in Clear Lake, Texas.
Follow Garth Kant on Twitter @DCgarth