You could say the battle over who is the most conservative has officially begun.
U.S. Senator John Cornyn has a last-minute primary challenger—Rep. Steve Stockman jumped into the Republican race Monday just minutes before the campaign filing deadline.
Stockman also withdrew his application for reelection to his current congressional seat.
In a letter written by Rep. Stockman on his campaign website, it’s clear he is aiming to show Republicans that he is more conservative than Sen. Cornyn. He even goes as far as calling the longtime Texas Senator a ‘liberal.’
"He is trying to fire people up,” Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak said. “I understand he has limited cards to play. He's going to play whatever cards he thinks he has. At the end of the day, I think it's extraordinarily difficult to make the case that John Cornyn's not a conservative."
But Cornyn has been working overtime to remind Texans of his conservative record.
"Sen. Cornyn had seen his numbers among conservatives and tea party conservatives decline over the summer, largely as a result of what is his lack of support for Ted Cruz's filibuster," Jim Henson with the Texas Politics Project said.
His campaign shelled out significant dollars for both TV and radio ads even before a serious challenger emerged.
It takes a lot of time and money to win elections, which is something Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak says Stockman just doesn't have.
"For Stockman, I think the time for him to do this--if he was going to do it at all--would have been three or four months ago,” he said. Not at the last minute, one minute before the deadline, with no statewide organization, no professional campaign team, with no financing.”
Stockman already faces roadblocks when to fundraising because there is a limit on how much a person running of federal office can take in from single contributions.