Stockman challenges Cornyn in Texas US Senate race

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. (File)
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - In a last-minute surprise, U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman has filed paperwork to challenge fellow Republican and incumbent John Cornyn for U.S. Senate in Texas.

Cornyn is the Senate's majority whip and had appeared likely to escape a major challenge from the tea party or other far-right factions.

But Texas Republican Party spokesman Spencer Yeldell said Stockman came in shortly before Monday's evening's filing deadline, withdrew his House re-election bid and formally challenged Cornyn.

Stockman was elected to a new House district outside Houston last year, but still should be a decided underdog in the race.

Previously, he served one term in Congress starting in 1994 - and was perhaps best known for accusing the U.S. government of "executing" members of the Branch Davidian cult after the siege near Waco.

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