SAN ANTONIO (Nexstar) — San Antonio Democrat Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who has made his way into the national spotlight for his advocacy on behalf of families who lost loved ones in the Uvalde school massacre, is likely to run for higher office according to a source close to the state senator.
One source who works with Gutierrez confirmed to Nexstar on Thursday that the Democrat is considering challenging Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in 2024. Gutierrez will continue weighing his options and won’t make a formal announcement about the race until the current legislative session is completed at the end of May.
The San Antonio Express-News first reported Wednesday morning that Gutierrez is “nearly certain” to run.
Gutierrez and one of his Texas Senate staffers declined to comment on the matter. The source close to the senator asked to not be named due to not being authorized to publicly talk about Gutierrez’s considerations.
The San Antonio Democrat has dedicated this legislation to the survivors and victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting — which killed 19 children and two teachers and was stained by an uncoordinated law enforcement response in which officers waited more than an hour to breach the classroom and take down the gunman. The May 2022 massacre happened in Gutierrez’s district.
This session he has poised himself as a champion of gun restrictions, pushing for measures like raising the age limit from 18 to 21 when purchasing AR-15 style weapons, which is what the Uvalde gunman used. In the first few months of session, Gutierrez held often weekly news conferences surrounded by grieving family members who have been pushing the Republican-controlled legislature to tighten the state’s gun laws.
While Gutierrez’s efforts in the Senate have not yielded any committee hearings on his 21 Uvalde related bills, the Texas House did take an unprecedented step in giving a Tuesday hearing to the age limit bill. The Community Safety Committee heard 18 different bills pertaining to firearm safety, many related to how firearms can be purchased and requirements for officials in reporting such transactions. All bills were left pending.
“There’s a frustration that many Texans are left behind,” the Democratic source told Nexstar. “I think it’s pretty clear he’s been a strong vocal advocate for families of Uvalde and the case of families of Uvalde shows us people who have been mistreated by their government.”
A spokesperson for Cruz’s team declined to comment for this story.