U.S. Rep. Colin Allred

U.S. Rep. Colin Allred is running for the Senate because ‘we can’t afford six more years of Ted Cruz’

TAMMYE NASH | Managing Editor

Now in his third term representing Texas Congressional District 32 in the U.S. House of Representatives, Colin Allred has put his congressional career on the line to take on Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2024 election. Allred recently told Dallas Voice he made the decision because “I feel really strongly that we can’t afford six more years of Ted Cruz in the Senate.”

Cruz, Allred said, “is one of the most divisive figures in politics, period. He has consistently taken our state and the people of our state for granted. He is more interested in himself, in doing his podcasts or promoting his own book.

“We have 30 million Texans who need a senator that cares about them,” Allred continued. “We are in a moment for our state, for our country, when we just can’t afford to have someone that divisive representing our state in the U.S. Senate. But, we can get a new senator.”

Allred, who has a perfect score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign based on his votes in the House in the 117th Congress, said he is incredibly proud of his record in Congress and as a civil rights lawyer.

“It’s just common sense to me — I understand that maybe it’s not to everyone — but I believe that discrimination of any kind is harmful to everyone,” Allred said. “It will send a tremendous message about who we are as Texans when we beat Ted Cruz, and I replace him in the Senate.

“We will have a better chance then to pass the Equality Act,” which would provide “full federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people,” Allred said. “Thanks to the courts, same-sex couples can get married on a Saturday. But you can still be fired [for being LGBTQ] on a Monday. The Equality Act is the right thing for our country to do.”

Cruz has consistently opposed both the Equality Act, which would entrench in legislation nondiscrimination protections granted by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Bostock ruling, and the Respect for Marriage Act, which would legislate marriage equality protections granted in the Obergefell ruling.

Allred played football for Baylor University, and after graduating Baylor with a degree in history, he spent four years with the Tennessee Titans as a linebacker, and after leaving the NFL he attended law school at U.C. Berkley.

As an attorney, Allred worked first with the Department of Housing and Urban Development before joining the Porter Cole law firm.

In 2018, Allred turned to politics, challenging and defeating incumbent Republican Pete Sessions, who had held the District 32 seat since 1997.

Describing himself as a “student of the civil rights movement,” Allred noted that every civil rights movement that has made progress “has been met with severe and sometimes violent pushback, usually from a vocal minority that just doesn’t want to accept equality for everyone because they are afraid it would mean less for them. But that’s not true.”

And, Allred stressed, that vocal minority “is not who we are as Texans. That’s not where the majority of Texans are. And I don’t want LGBTQ folks thinking that’s how Texans are.”

The state of Texas, Allred said, deserves leadership that “calls out these bad actors” such as Cruz and “his role in Jan. 6 [2021] and his constant nodding to political extremism in various ways.

“We need leaders whose values we share, who want to educate folks and who are not responding out of fear or misunderstanding and who know that more rights for you does not mean less rights for me. We need the kind of leadership in representation, in empathy and in education that I will provide.”

For now though, Allred continues to represent Texas’ 32nd District in the U.S. House, where Republicans hold a very narrow majority and where newly-elected Speaker Mike Johnson rules. And while Johnson was relatively unknown outside his own Louisiana district when he was elected on Oct. 24, he has quickly become known as a right-wing Christian nationalist with extremely anti-LGBTQ views.

“I am incredibly concerned about Mike Johnson’s comments, his votes and his world view,” Allred said. “It is incredibly dangerous to have someone like that in such a powerful position. We have already seen attacks on funding, using the budget as a tool for culture wars. We will continue to see that, and we have to show the American people what is really happening, how they are not focused on real issues but on culture wars that won’t help anyone.”

Johnson and Cruz, Allred said, “are two peas in a pod,” and “We have to make sure after 2024 that Johnson isn’t the speaker and Ted Cruz isn’t in the Senate.”

He said he hopes that because of his history as a linebacker in the NFL, “maybe some folks will hear me that maybe wouldn’t listen in other cases when it comes to equality and pushing back against discrimination. We should all care about discrimination, and if my voice can help reach some folks, I am proud and happy to use that platform to make things better for all of us.”