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May 15th , 2023        Political Note #560 Colin Allred US Senate

2024                          General Election


Colin Allred creates the Democrats best opportunity to flip a Texas Senate seat in a generation. 

Colin Allred is #4 on a list of distinguished alums of Dallas’s Hillcrest High School – just ahead of Harriet Myers, who GW Bush nominated unsuccessfully to the US Supreme Court.  He is among 6 football players from Hillcrest to have played in the National Football League.  Colin Allred played football for Baylor University in Waco.  Baylor describes itself as a “Nationally Ranked Christian University.”

Baylor takes its football seriously.  Colin Allred, who played three seasons for the Tennessee Titans in the NFL, is not listed among Baylor’s top 10 football alums.  He joined the NFL after signing on as an undrafted free agent. Last season in the NFL, 27 former Baylor football players were members of various teams.

Colin Allred grew up in Dallas.  He never knew his Black father.  He was raised by his white, single mom, a teacher in Dallas. She took his studies at least as seriously as his football.  He did well academically.  After he was injured in the NFL, he went to law school, to one of the best.  He got his JD at the University of California, Berkeley.

Colin Allred’s wife, Alexandra Eber is another woman in his life who is more than capable.  She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Occidental College and, like her husband, got her JD from the University of California Berkeley.  She is an associate at Cooley, LLP with a practice that focuses on complex commercial and securities litigation, white collar defense, and internal investigations.

Colin Allred just turned 40.  Part of a successful couple, he spent some time in Washington working in the General Counsel’s office of the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs whose Secretary, at the time, was Texas’s Julian Castro.  Colin Allred practiced law for Perkins Cole before running for Congress.

Colin Allred upset Congressman Pete Sessions.  He succeeded through effective fund raising and campaigning, arguing he would be a moderate Democrat. He is a moderate Democrat.  Look at his political positions.  On gun safety, he says he favors common sense solutions like background checks for purchasing guns and red flag laws that allows removing guns from those who are dangerous. On immigration he supports a pragmatic approach securing the border using recent technologies rather than building a wall or deploying troops.  During the pandemic, he emphasized voluntary vaccination, though he supported Medicare and Medicaid rules that require health care workers to be vaccinated.  His website claims three legislative successes – lower prescription drug prices, establishment of a Veteran’s Administration health center, and a trade deal with Mexico that “keeps jobs in Texas.”

You might ask if 6’1” 240 pound Colin Allred threw his weight around in Congress.  He would certainly be one of the Senate’s big men.   Another one of the Senate’s big men, Jon Tester, has a campaign video of him roughhousing with former Stanford football player and US Senator from New Jersey Corey Booker.

Good as Tester’s video is, Colin Allred’s video is better. He titled it “Our Team is Texas” and he contrasts himself with Ted Cruz — the man he intends to oust from the Senate.  Colin Allred describes himself on January 6 taking his jacket off and getting himself ready for combat if necessary while Ted Cruz, who initially cheered the insurrectionists on, hid in a storage closet.  As a 5’4” 81 year old man, I can say it never hurts to have a big man on your team.  Colin Allred, Jon Tester, and Corey Booker would be three big men in the Senate.  They make a line-up of tough, smart, and interesting men.

When Colin Allred entered the House, he was elected co-president of the Democratic Freshmen, a spot he shared with Congresswoman Haley Stevens of Michigan.  He joined the Congressional Black Caucus as one of the growing number of Black members of Congress representing predominantly white districts.  He also joined the New Democratic Coalition, the largest affinity group among Democrats – progressive on social issues, moderate on fiscal ones.  He has been serving on three committees – Foreign Affairs, Transportation and Infrastructure, and Veterans’ Affairs.

Try Googling Colin Allred and scandal, you don’t get much.  Maybe something about earmarks.  Colin Allred is unembarrassed about obtaining funds to improve the Dallas Fort Worth Airport.  There is simply not much available to attack Colin Allred about.  On the other hand, Ted Cruz creates lots of opportunities.  Colin Allred, a Congressman who made serious efforts to work across the aisles, attacks Cruz for whipping up culture wars.

Republicans will attack Colin Allred for his voting record in Congress.  We will get a chance to see if Texans really want to punish him for supporting an assault weapons ban.  Will Texans want to punish him for requiring health care workers to be properly vaccinated?  For voting to impeach Donald Trump – twice?  Speaking of culture war issues, will Republicans want to punish Colin Allred for the symbolic and substantive act of being the first member of Congress to take paternity leave to support his wife after the birth of their child?

Will Texans take a look at their current US Senator – considered the most disliked man in his branch of Congress?  In 2021, Andrew Naughtie attempted to answer the question about why Ted Cruz is so disliked. Naughtie noted that Cruz was thoroughly disliked well before he embarrassed himself fleeing for Cancun from Texas’s Great Freeze of February 2021.  Cruz returned to enormous criticism, insisting, really insisting that the trip had been planned previously; that it had nothing to do with the Great Freeze.  Ted Cruz insisted he was not fleeing a crisis in Texas.

Naughtie described Cruz as an opponent of compromise, whose first exercise in that approach to government was his failed leadership in 2013 to extort repeal of the Affordable Care Act from President Obama by threatening a government shut down.  Cruz drew the wrath of veterans when he described his 21 hour mini personal filibuster as resembling the Bataan march.  Cruz apologized to angry World War II veterans.

Cruz spent the aftermath of his 2016 presidential campaign cowering.  As hard as he tried, Cruz was not as nasty as the ultimate Republican nominee, Donald Trump who was, of course elected President.  During that 2016 campaign, Trump described Cruz as ineligible for the nomination because he was not a natural born citizen. He suggested that Cruz’s father had a role in the John F. Kennedy assassination and described Cruz’s wife as ugly.  Give Cruz credit. He took a little while to recover.  He would not endorse Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention. Cruz’s reluctance did not last. He endorsed Trump for President in 2020. And after the 2020 election, he joined most Republicans supporting (or at least not disputing) Trump’s claim that the 2020 election results were fraudulent.  Ted Cruz has been more than willing to compromise himself to ensure that he is in Donald Trump’s good graces.

After two terms as a Senator, Ted Cruz claims some legislative accomplishments – expanding 529 college savings accounts so they can be used for K-12 private and religious schools, repealing the mandate that every individual purchase health insurance or be subject to a tax instead, and stalling the Baltic Sea routed Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.  He has lots of claims.  He also claims responsibility for sanctions on terrorists who use civilians as human shields and designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Whether he can legitimately claim these achievements as his accomplishments is open to question.   That he makes these claims shows where his interests are.

Colin Allred may have a primary opponent.  In an ordinary year, Colin Allred would clear the field.  He is too strong a candidate to buck.  For State Senator Roland Gutierrez, this is not an ordinary year.  He represents Uvalde “It changes you……..going into a session and talking to your colleagues and realizing that they sill don’t [care].  They are just going to be cowards.  And they will sit there and they will cry with the families, but then they won’t do anything.”  Does Gutierrez feel strongly enough about making a statement to drain Colin Allred’s resources when he will need every dime to defeat Ted Cruz?  In the off chance that Gutierrez could defeat Allred in a primary, he would face Ted Cruz and the general election having spent every dime. My hope is that Roland Gutierrez does not enter the primary.  If he does, I will treat it as the high probability that it is – that Colin Allred will be the nominee.  I urge you to do the same.

Can Colin Allred defeat Ted Cruz?  Some political prognosticators see the Texas Senate race as Likely Republican and are already moving toward describing the race as Lean Republican.  They believe Ted Cruz is the teeniest bit vulnerable, maybe more vulnerable than teeny.  Colin Allred is no teeny bit.  He can raise money and he can generate enthusiasm.  The race for the Texas Senate will be enormously expensive.  Help Colin Allred raise enough money to win this race?  Help raise the money he needs.

 Senate Races to preserve the Democratic majority

Two Vulnerable Democratic Incumbents

Jon Tester, Montana is, in my view, the most vulnerable Democrat.  Some Montana Republicans are attempting to change Montana’s election system – just for the US Senate and just for 2024.  If they adopt a top two primary, which they probably will not, they would eliminate the Libertarians and independent candidates from the general election. Republicans seem to think that it is the Libertarians and the independent candidates who have allowed Jon Tester to be elected even though he did not have a majority of the vote.  Len’s Political Note #550.

Sherrod Brown is, in my view, the second most vulnerable Democrat.  He brings a blue-collar persona to a state that has recently been electing Republicans.  We don’t know who his opponent will be; but we know that Sherrod Brown is usually able to win in his home state. Help him win this time.  Len’s Political Note #556

Two Democratic insurgents who can win.

 Ruben Gallego, Arizona will be the Democratic nominee.  Kyrsten Sinema, the now Independent incumbent up for election, complicates matters but will not dominate the contest.  A Republican nominee will make this a three-way race.  Ruben Gallego can make this into a race among a reasonable Democrat, an erratic independent, and an extreme Republican.  He wins that kind of contest. Help him tell his story and win in November.   Len’s Political Note #544

Lucas Kunce, Missouri will be the Democratic nominee. He lost the nomination for US Senate in the Democratic primary in 2022. Not unlike Sherrod Brown, he is a champion of blue collar workers from his state and an advocate for corporate accountability.    After Colin Allred, he is the Democrats’ next best chance to flip a Senate seat. Help that happen.  Len’s Political Note #538