U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, speaks to a group of Hillary Clinton supporters at a morning campaign event held at the home of Mark and Sharon Naughton in Iowa City on Sunday, August 30, 2015. Castro was on the first of four campaign stops in Iowa. Photo by Rebecca F. Miller
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, speaks to a group of Hillary Clinton supporters at a morning campaign event held at the home of Mark and Sharon Naughton in Iowa City on Sunday, August 30, 2015. Castro was on the first of four campaign stops in Iowa. Credit: Rebecca F. Miller / The Texas Tribune

PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio, has set off a new stir in Texas politics with his remark that he will consider challenging U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in 2018.

Castro, long regarded as a rising star in Democratic politics, has previously not ruled out a run for the seat but seemed to offer more definitive language than usual in a TV interview Tuesday morning.

“I’m going to take a look at it in 2018,” Castro told CBS News, which interviewed him here at the Democratic National Convention with his twin brother, U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro.

“I’ll take a look at that and other opportunities,” Joaquín Castro added. “I’ve never been somebody that said in two years I’ve absolutely got to run for Senate or governor, but I will take a look at it.”

By Thursday afternoon, Cruz was using Castro’s comment to raise money for his re-election campaign, writing on Twitter that the “time to fight back is now to stop any attempt to turn Texas blue.”

“Despite any record of achievement and a liberal ideology out of touch with the majority of Texans, the Castro brothers have the full support of the mainstream media and Washington establishment willing to do everything in their power to turn Texas blue,” Cruz said in a subsequent email to supporters, going on to note that “our opponents are already making plans to defeat us, so we cannot afford to wait to engage until 2018.”

In the interview, Joaquín Castro appeared more interested than his brother in challenging Cruz. Asked by CBS’ Charlie Rose which one of the twins was going to take on Cruz, Julián Castro replied, “Probably zero of us.”

“He’s speaking for himself,” Joaquín Castro said a short time later.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

https://rivardreport.wildapricot.org

Top image: U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio, speaks to a group of Hillary Clinton supporters at a morning campaign event held at the home of Mark and Sharon Naughton in Iowa City on Sunday, August 30, 2015. Castro was on the first of four campaign stops in Iowa.  Photo by Rebecca F. Miller

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Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune

Patrick Svitek is the primary political correspondent for The Texas Tribune and editor of The Blast, the Tribune's subscription-only daily newsletter for political insiders.