MJ’s Record as Chuck Schumer’s Handpicked Candidate

Hegar Is The Hand-Picked Candidate Of Washington Democrats, Including Senate Democrat Leader Chuck Schumer

Hegar Was “Sought Out” By Sen. Chuck Schumer To Run For U.S. Senate After She “Proved To Be Formidable At Both Fundraising And Social Media In Her 2018 Razor-Thin Loss.” “Castro, who still has his admirers, has promised supporters he will announce his decision by the first week of May. But to many observers, the signs are clear that he is already out of the running — and a lot of it has to do with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Castro was eclipsed Tuesday by MJ Hegar, a decorated war veteran whom Schumer sought out after she proved to be formidable at both fundraising and social media in her 2018 razor-thin loss to U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock. She announced her run against Cornyn last week with a splashy video.” (Maria Recio, “Joaquin Castro Looking Like An Also-Ran For U.S. Senate,” Austin American-Statesman, 4/26/19)

In Early 2019, Schumer Met With Hegar In New York As She Was Weighing A Bid. “Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with Texas Democrat M.J. Hegar, who is weighing a 2020 Senate bid, over the weekend in New York City, someone close to Hegar told HuffPost.  Hegar is a tattooed, motorcycle-riding, Purple Heart recipient whose personal story — and a viral campaign ad about the challenges she’s overcome— helped her mount a competitive Democratic challenge last year against Republican Rep. John Carter in Central Texas’ 31st Congressional District. She lost by about 3 percentage points, but in 2016, Carter won re-election by more than 20 points.  Schumer invited Hegar to meet with him, the source told HuffPost, though the person declined to comment on the record regarding the contents of the discussion.” (Dana Liebelson, “Chuck Schumer Reaches Out To Mj Hegar Ahead Of Potential Texas Senate Bid,” The Huffington Post, 3/4/19)

Royce West Criticized The DSCC’s Endorsement Of Hegar, Saying “The DSCC Is Trying To Lock African Americans Out Of The Process.” “The Democrats in the primary race include state Sen. Royce West , Houston Council Member Amanda Edwards , former Houston congressman Chris Bell , longtime Austin labor organizer Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez , and environmental activist Sema Hernandez, who ran against O’Rourke in 2018. Several of those candidates hit back on Monday. ‘The DSCC is trying to lock African Americans out of the process,’ West said, calling the endorsement ‘a slap in the face to 11.6 percent of our state’s population that identifies as African American.’” (Benjamin Wermund, “Senate Democrats Endorse Hegar In Crowded Race To Challenge Cornyn,” San Antonio Express, 12/17/19)

  • West Called The DSCC Endorsement As A “Sad Day For The Democratic Party” And A “Slap In The Face To 11.6 Percent Of Our State’s Population That Identifies As African American.” “Hegar was seen as the front-runner ahead of the primary, leading in multiple polls. She also has the backing of the national Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The endorsement drew criticism from West on the campaign trail, who called it ‘a very sad day for the Democratic Party.’ ‘The DSCC is trying to lock African Americans out of the process. That is a slap in the face to 11.6 percent of our state’s population that identifies as African American,’ West, who is African American, said in a statement.” (Nicole Cobler, “Hegar, West Draw Contrasts,” Austin American-Statesman, 3/9/20)

The Chair Of The Texas Coalition Of Black Democrats Called The DSCC’s Endorsement Of Hegar “Disrespectful” And Accused The Group Of Trying To “Rig” The Primary In Favor Of Hegar. “Carroll Robinson, the newly elected chair of the Texas Coalition of Black Democrats, called the endorsement ‘disrespectful,’ and wondered if anyone in the black community was consulted ahead of the decision. Robinson believes the DSCC endorsement highlights the political incompetence and bias of the Democratic Party’s national campaign committees. ‘[The endorsement] just doesn’t make any sense if you have a strategy for not just putting Texas in play, but actually turning it blue,’ he said. ‘No disrespect to MJ Hegar, but she may not be the perfect candidate to turn out black and brown voters in November 2020, and it certainly won’t help her when the DSCC looks like it’s trying to rig [the primary] for her.’ Robinson says that the national party has an established pattern of tipping the scales in primaries to advance its own political strategy, which often means endorsing white candidates over minorities. ‘I think the party still has this antiquated perspective that somehow the white candidate will get white voters and the white candidate will get them to victory,’ he said. ‘They’re assuming [Hegar will] do better than Wendy Davis, than Hillary Clinton did in Texas, and better than Beto O’Rourke did.’” (Justin Miller, “National Dems Back MJ Hegar, Underscoring a Deeper Debate: How to Win in Texas,” Texas Observer, 12/18/19)