Mikal Rows Boat Ashore to Cornyn Challenge

Posted June 7, 2007 at 1:49pm

Wealthy trial attorney Mikal Watts (D) took a step closer to challenging Sen. John Cornyn (R) last week, announcing the formation of an exploratory committee.

“The purpose of this committee is to allow me to raise money and talk to Texans around the state to see if they are willing to invest in this campaign to achieve change for the state of Texas,” Watts told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Watts, 39, is a well-known Democratic insider and son of a Texas judge, but he has a long way to go before making the well-entrenched Cornyn sweat. The first-term Senator ended March with more than $3.8 million in his campaign account.

But Watts does have some fundraising ability. Earlier this year he hosted a fundraiser at his home for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that was supposed to yield about $150,000. The haul instead exceeded $1 million.

At least one other Democrat is actively considering the race. State Rep. Rick Noriega (D) told the Houston Chronicle last week that he will decide whether to run sometime after June 16, when his wife is competing in a special election for Houston City Council.

— Josh Kurtz