Former Republican presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz announced on Tuesday (10 May) that he plans to run for re-election in Texas in 2018. The announcement, which arrived just a week after Cruz suspended his presidential aspirations, brings down rumours that the Texas freshman senator would step aside to prepare for another White House bid in 2020.
Cruz confirmed to CNN with a simple yes when asked if he would run again as senator, but did not elaborate on his plans. The conservative senator, who trailed likely GOP nominee Donald Trump before ultimately ending his fight amid a devastating loss in Indiana, officially reactivated his Senate campaign account in a letter to the Federal Election Commission.
The Texas senator returned to Capitol Hill this week and was reportedly warmly received by his Republican colleagues during a lunch on 11 May. According to CNN, Cruz's return to the Senate floor since ending his bid for the White House was a "low key affair" with only a few senators acknowledging his return.
Several of Cruz's colleagues on both sides of the aisle reportedly ignored his return, with GOP leaders Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator John Cornyn as well as top Democrats Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Chuck Schumer seemingly ignoring him, CNN reported. However, one senator did spend time speaking with Cruz to have a "heart-to-heart" talk with him.
"I was encouraging him to really get to work here," Utah Senator Orrin Hatch said. "He's got a lot of talent, a lot of ability." Hatch said he told the freshman senator to be more open to the views of others. "I just encouraged him to understand that people have differences of opinions," he said. "He's got a big role to play here if he wants to."
Cruz has refused to endorse his Trump since dropping out of the race. In a 10 May interview with NBC News, Cruz ignored a question on whether the billionaire real estate magnate could do anything to get him to support his nomination. "For me, what is important is that the [conservative] movement continues," Cruz said. "This movement from the people—this battle is about a lot more than one election cycle or one candidate."