Texas state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat, officially declared his candidacy for the 2024 U.S. Senate race in Texas on Monday. He intends to challenge incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the upcoming election. Gutierrez, 52, currently represents a district along the southern border that includes San Antonio and the community of Uvalde. Uvalde is unfortunately known for being the site of the Robb Elementary School mass shooting on May 24, 2022, where a lone gunman tragically took the lives of 19 students and two teachers, and injured 17 others.
One of the main focuses of Gutierrez’s campaign is gun control and what he describes as the Republican party’s refusal to take action on the issue. He believes that changes in gun laws are necessary to create a safer society. In particular, he has proposed raising the minimum age for gun ownership to 21 and establishing a database of individuals who have made bulk ammunition purchases. Gutierrez has filed legislation to support these measures.
Gutierrez is not the only Democratic candidate in the Texas U.S. Senate primary. He joins the race alongside Rep. Colin Allred (D-Texas), a former football star at Baylor University in Waco who also played in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans. Both Gutierrez and Allred hope to become the first Democrats to win a statewide office seat in Texas in nearly three decades.
Sen. Ted Cruz, who has served as the U.S. Senator for Texas since 2012 and is seeking his third term, is known as one of the prominent conservative voices in American public life. He has been a vocal and tireless opponent of the Obama and Biden administrations. Cruz’s spokesperson, Nick Maddux, responded to Gutierrez’s entrance into the race, stating, “We welcome Senator Gutierrez to the race.”
Roland Gutierrez grew up in San Antonio, the son of Mexican immigrants, and attended Central Catholic High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas at San Antonio and his law degree from St. Mary’s University Law School also in San Antonio. Gutierrez is a practicing immigration attorney.
Before serving as a state senator, Gutierrez held a seat in the Texas House of Representatives from 2008 to 2021 and also served on the San Antonio city council. He and his wife, Sarah, and their daughters, Izabella and Victoria, reside in San Antonio.
In his campaign video, Gutierrez highlights his deep connection to Texas and his commitment to bringing about change. He acknowledges the horrors he has witnessed, particularly in Uvalde, and emphasizes the need for action. Gutierrez criticizes the Republican party for failing to address the issue of gun control and believes that neglect contributed to the tragedy in Uvalde.
Another incident that Gutierrez references is when Sen. Ted Cruz controversially traveled to Cancun, Mexico, during a severe winter storm in mid-February 2021 that left millions of Texans without power. Gutierrez suggests that Cruz’s decision to leave the state during a state of emergency is indefensible.
The 2024 U.S. Senate race in Texas is shaping up to be a heated battle between Gutierrez, Allred, and Cruz. Gutierrez’s focus on gun control and his experiences representing the district affected by the Robb Elementary School shooting will likely play a significant role in his campaign. Both he and Allred hope to make history by becoming the first Democrats to win a statewide office seat in Texas in nearly 30 years. Cruz, on the other hand, seeks to continue passionately defending Texas and delivering results for the constituents he represents. Only time will tell which candidate Texans will choose to represent them in the U.S. Senate.