Add another name to the growing list of U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's opponents in 2014.
Democratic dental center mogul David Alameel has confirmed he will run for the seat held by Texas' senior senator, joining at least six other hopefuls from both major parties. Alameel said he has mailed his filing forms to Austin.
"I don't like what's happening with our political system," Alameel told The Texas Tribune on Friday. "I don't like the detachment and apathy people have about about politics, and I would like to change the way they think."
Alameel added that establishment politicians like Cornyn are "part of the problem."
“Sen. Cornyn looks forward to discussing his record and welcomes Dr. Alameel into the race," said Cornyn campaign manager Brendan Steinhauser.
In the Democratic primary, Alameel faces El Paso lawyer Maxey Scherr and former GOP House candidate Michael Fjetland of Houston, who switched parties after the 2006 elections.
Alameel is no stranger to crowded primaries. In 2012 he ran for the newly created Congressional District 33 seat against 10 other Democrats. After spending more than $2.6 million on the race — most of it his own money — he finished fourth; state Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, was the eventual winner and won the seat in November. In his failed bid, Alameel outspent every other congressional candidate in the state.
Cornyn's campaign has nothing to fear from Alameel's financial resources — as of Sept. 30, he had nearly $7 million in cash on hand. But he is under attack from more than just the Democratic side. Conservatives have questioned his decision in late September to not back U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's tactics in opposing the Affordable Care Act, and in a break with tradition, Cruz has pointedly declined to endorse Cornyn's re-election bid.
Cornyn's challengers in the Republican primary are relative unknowns. They include attorney and activist Linda Vega, Liberty businessman Dwayne Stovall and Tea Party candidates Reid Reasor and Chris Mapp.
And Cornyn has the state's top officeholder, Gov. Rick Perry, who introduced him and vouched for his conservative record at a re-election campaign kickoff in Austin earlier this month.
“When it comes to the United States Congress, the trick is to not listen to what people say. It’s to watch what they do,” Perry said. “No one has a better voting record in the Senate than John Cornyn. He is the epitome of a Texas statesman.”
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