Texas Tribune sits down with Royce West, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, ahead of Texas’ runoff election

Texas Politics

(Texas Tribune) — Join The Texas Tribune at 12 p.m. Friday for an interview with state Sen. Royce West, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, conducted by the Tribune’s senior political reporter, Patrick Svitek.

West, of Dallas, has represented Senate District 23 since 1993. In the 86th legislative session, he served as vice chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee and sat on the Education, Finance and Transportation committees. He announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in July 2019.

“I’m battle tested,” West told supporters at a campaign launch event. “You’ve seen me in battle, and I’m ready today to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate.”

In March, West narrowly grabbed the second-highest vote total in the 12-way primary election, sending him to a runoff election against MJ Hegar, a retired Air Force officer. Hegar has the backing of national Democrats, while West has been endorsed by the majority of his Democratic colleagues in the Legislature.

The winner of the runoff election will face Republican incumbent John Cornyn in November. The runoff election was originally scheduled for early May, but Gov. Greg Abbott postponed it due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2006, West was a pivotal player in a campaign to flip Dallas County the same way his party now hopes to flip Texas. He helped implement a voter turnout strategy that helped lead Democrats to victory with the support of Black and Hispanic voters. That strategy, which became a model for flipping other Texas districts, is part of the Democratic approach in 2020.

West touts a record of coalition building and legislative achievements from his time as a state senator. “I’m more focused on getting things done,” he said. “No Democrat can win in Texas without being center-left.” He faces a challenge of communicating his record to the many voters who don’t closely follow the Legislature.

The conversation series is presented by AT&T and Walmart and supported by TEXAS 2036 and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. Media support is provided by KXAN.

Tribune events are also supported through contributions from our founding investors and members. Though donors and corporate sponsors underwrite Texas Tribune events, they play no role in determining the content, panelists or line of questioning.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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