- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sen. Chris Van Hollen said Thursday that Texas is on the Democrats’ radar for a possible Senate seat.

A new poll out Wednesday showed incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz trailing Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro. Mr. Castro is reportedly considering a 2018 Senate run.

Mr. Van Hollen, who is chairman of the Senate Democrats campaign arm, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the main focus for his party in 2018 is to “hold the blue line” but added “we are looking for opportunities” across the country, including Texas.

“I will tell you Ted Cruz is one person that energizes a lot of Democrats as well as independents,” said Mr. Van Hollen, Maryland Democrat.

But Mr. Van Hollen said Democrats are trying to learn from the results of 2016, and people like Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders are bridging the gap between the cultural problems the Democrats have with voters.

“I think Bernie has been a very positive force in that sense,” he said.

Mr. Van Hollen said that he believes Democrats will hold their 25 seats up for re-election in 2018, two of which are independent incumbents who caucus with Democrats.

“The really good news is all the energy and political momentum is on the Democratic side,” he said.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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