State Rep. Carl Sherman becomes latest Democrat to target Sen. Ted Cruz in 2024

State Rep. Carl Sherman, D-DeSoto, on the House floor in 2019. (Juan Figueroa/The Texas Tribune, Juan Figueroa/The Texas Tribune)

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State Rep. Carl Sherman, D-DeSoto, announced Saturday he is running for U.S. Senate, becoming the latest Democrat to launch a campaign to challenge Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Sherman, a pastor, jumped in the race calling for higher salaries for police officers and more hospitals in rural areas of the state.

“Texas needs a United States senator who will stand up for all of us, our children, our families, small-business owners and the working people of Texas. We need more good paying jobs in Texas, not just jobs, but good-paying jobs,” Sherman said.

Sherman joins a primary that already includes two prominent Democrats in U.S. Rep. Colin Allred of Dallas and state Sen. Roland Gutierrez of San Antonio. Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez resigned Tuesday to also run in the primary.

Sherman was first elected in 2018 to represent House District 109, a solidly blue district south of Dallas. He previously was mayor of DeSoto.

Sherman currently serves as senior pastor at Church of Christ in Hutchins.

Sherman’s entrance into the 2024 primary came after his opponents jumped to a head start, with Allred announcing his campaign in May, while Gutierrez launched his bid last month.

Allred has already established himself as a formidable fundraiser, collecting $6.2 million in roughly his first two months.

Sherman did not emerge as a potential candidate until late June. He has shrugged off any disadvantage from the late start.

“If God is calling you to do something, then it’s never too late,” Sherman said in a Dallas TV interview that aired last month

Cruz is seeking his third term after a closer-than-expected reelection race in 2018. Still, Democrats have not won statewide office in Texas since 1994.

Sherman’s U.S. Senate campaign means he will be vacating his seat in Texas House District 109. Shortly after Sherman declared his U.S. Senate bid Saturday, Aicha Davis, a Democratic member of the State Board of Education, announced she would run to succeed Sherman in the state House.

William Melhado contributed to this story.

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