Firebrand Texas Republican Rep. Steve Stockman on Monday mounted a surprise primary challenge to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), setting the stage for the latest potentially explosive battle between a tea party darling and an incumbent firmly backed by the GOP establishment.
Stockman, a far-right conservative who has called for the president’s impeachment, filed for the seat minutes before the 6 p.m. local deadline, confirmed Spencer Yeldell, a spokesman for the Republican Party of Texas. Cornyn — with cash-on-hand clocking in at nearly $7 million — is still the heavy favorite, but Stockman’s entry into the race could force the incumbent senator to tack farther right as he tries to win over a corner of the party that has been relatively skeptical of him.
Stockman’s move shocked Texas political observers: Cornyn had looked poised for an easy March 4 primary contest, where he was set to square off with several candidates with little name recognition. Just 20 minutes before the filing deadline, Texas GOP chair Steve Munisteri told POLITICO that he was “not expecting any recognizable names or people with substantial resources running aside from the senator.”
The definitive profile of Stockman probably belongs to Tim Murphy at Mother Jones, who described Stockman as the nuttiest of the class of 2012.
The Texas congressman, who is three weeks into his second term after a 16-year hiatus from the House, is almost certainly the only member of Congress to have been caught with 30 mg of valium hidden in a cellophane wrapper in his underwear. He's defended militia groups; accused an attorney general of "premeditated murder"; appeared on a Holocaust-denying radio program; waged a one-man war against Alfred Kinsey; compared his constituents—favorably—to Branch Davidians; and traveled to Denmark to protest climate change while wearing a red blindfold. The man who bested his 2012 opponent by 44 points isn't the most ballyhooed of incoming lawmakers. He's just the nuttiest.
Wingnut Rep. Steve Stockman went trolling for attention and got it when he invited the Obama rodeo clown who was banned from performing in Missouri to come perform in his home state of Texas. Read more...