State Sen. Pat Fallon, R-Prosper, has decided against a primary challenge to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn.
Fallon revealed the decision Thursday, about a month after he announced at a North Texas Tea Party meeting that he was exploring a run.
"Susan and I wanted to share that I will NOT be a candidate for US Senate in 2020," Fallon said in a statement to friends first shared with The Texas Tribune. "This was a difficult decision as I was personally looking forward to reaching ... thousands of fellow Texans and visiting with them, asking them what their thoughts, concerns and ideas are for our state and our country."
Fallon cited concerns about being away from his family — he has two young sons — as well as the $6 million price tag that he estimated would be the "bare minimum to be competitive for the GOP nomination."
"A statewide US Senate race right now is simply not something that fits with the chapter in life that we’re in," Fallon wrote. "I do plan on playing a role and do everything I can, whether that be as a volunteer or candidate in the future, to KEEP TEXAS RED!"
Cornyn, who fended off seven primary opponents in his 2014 re-election campaign, moved quickly this time to shore up his right flank, securing early endorsements from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and President Donald Trump. His campaign emphasized those endorsements in a digital ad as word got out early last month about Fallon's deliberations, and both Patrick and Cruz issued statements reiterating their support for the incumbent after Fallon unveiled his exploratory committee.
Fallon's decision leaves Cornyn with two lesser-known primary challengers: Dallas financial adviser Mark Yancey and Dwayne Stovall, who finished third in the 2014 primary. In the other primary, 10 Democrats have lined up to take on Cornyn.
Here is Fallon's full statement:
Susan and I wanted to share that I will NOT be a candidate for US Senate in 2020. This was a difficult decision as I was personally looking forward to reaching to thousands of fellow Texans and visiting with them, asking them what their thoughts, concerns and ideas are for our state and our country.
I’ve always prided myself on the fact that I will speak with an unvarnished candor. So, in that same spirit...family truly comes first. And with our sons being 13 and 10, Susan was very concerned about how much time I would be away campaigning and, God forbid (her words!) I actually won, she was fearful that I’d miss the remaining half of the boys’ formative years. That and we were shy about $6 million that we would have needed as a bare minimum to be competitive for the GOP nomination!
But my bride shared critical insight and ultimately I appreciated her wisdom and she was right. My boys need their dad as much as I need them. A perfect example-last week I came home from a speech and my oldest (13) was beside himself. He had an big algebra test the next day and he couldn’t work out a single one of the many problems he would see on the test the next day. He was crying. He’s an A student and he was careening toward a zero and a big fat F was on the horizon.
I sat down with him, we YouTubed some videos on algebra, and it slowly, ever so slowly, came back to me. We worked on and worked out each problem. And we did it together. It took 3 hours. He completely busted his bed time hour. But the important thing is we got through it. And I remembered why I didn’t major in math! The next day he came home elated. He had gotten a 100 on the test. Think this was God’s clever and ever so subtle way of telling me that my path, for now, is to stay much closer to home and be the dad my boys need and the husband Susan deserves. I love them all so dearly!
I ran for office for the first time 10 yrs ago because I wanted to serve the community, state and country I love. My time in the military really showcased for me how important service and leadership was. Service before self. More elected officials need to repeat that motto on a daily basis!
I look forward to continuing to serve Texas moving forward. A statewide US Senate race right now is simply not something that fits with the chapter in life that we’re in. I do plan on playing a role and do everything I can, whether that be as a volunteer or candidate in the future, to KEEP TEXAS RED! After all, the world needs a strong America to continue to be safe and prosperous and our country needs a strong Texas. In order to keep Texas strong we MUST fight for the values, virtues and policies that will further fuel the Texas miracle for years and decades to come.
I’m deeply honored and humbled by all of the encouragement, well wishers and support we have received and I look forward to serving Texas and her awesome citizens for a good little bit. In the meantime, I’m readying myself for some geometry, trigonometry and, Jesus save me...calculus!
Thank you and God bless,
Patrick Fallon, Member
Texas Senate-District 30