Democrat MJ Hegar will head to primary runoff, Cornyn clinches Republican nomination

Politics

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Republican Sen. John Cornyn clinched his party’s nomination for U.S. Senator, but the Democrats will have a runoff election.

Currently, MJ Hegar has landed a spot in that runoff and will go head-to-head with Royce West. On Wednesday, Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez conceded in a Twitter thread, saying:

A candidate must win more than 50% of the vote in the primary to avoid a runoff.

In a statement on Wednesday, Royce said, in part:

“I believe we are well-positioned to win the runoff. The runoff is a brand new day, and I look forward to representing Texas in the United States Senate next November.”

Hegar, who raised more money than her 11 other democratic rivals, told a crowd of supporters Tuesday night that it’s time for Cornyn to pack his bags because “he’s fired.” It will be an uphill battle for Hegar, an Air Force combat veteran, to defeat the 3-term Republican incumbent.

“It’s nothing compared to when the nine of us were surrounded by 150 enemy Taliban, I mean uphill battles don’t really scare or intimidate me,” said Hegar.

Hegar received 417,160 or 22.31% of the vote, West received 14.66% or 174,074 votes.

Cornyn received 76.04% of the vote, or 1,470,669 votes.

Cornyn has been Texas’ senator in Washington since 2002. Before that, he was the state’s attorney general.

Following his victory, Cornyn spoke to a crowded room of supporters at his watch party at The County Line. He gave a strongly worded speech on his high expectations for Republican voters going into November.

“We are united as one party, and we go in to the General Election stronger than we have ever been before. The stage is now set for a referendum of our lifetimes,” Cornyn said, then asking, “Will Texans abandon the principles that have made our state the envy of the nation in order to live under the stranglehold of socialism? Or will Texas do what we’ve always done: Choose freedom, prosperity, and the power of self determination?”

Cornyn noted that it will be important to work with democrats in the upcoming months, saying their party is very divided.

“Like I have done in the Senate, I will cross the aisle, welcoming Texans caught in the Democrat party’s civil war and repealed by socialism,” Cornyn said.

Cornyn also led a push for his supporters to back and continue supporting President Donald Trump. Trump shirts were handed out as people entered the watch party hosted by Cornyn’s team and the Travis County GOP, along with Cornyn shirts.

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