MJ Hegar is trying to do what no Texas Democrat has done since 1998 -- win an election to the U.S. Senate.
In an exclusive interview, Hegar shared what makes her think she can beat U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), a well-known senator who has been in leadership and who won his last election with more than 60% of the vote.
"Texans are hard to fool. And when Texans get to know me a little bit better, and they see that their choice is between a career politician who has had decades in politics and is answering to his party leadership and voting as he is told, versus a working mom who is a combat vet, who has served her country, who has shown a willingness and an effectiveness at taking on the establishment to fight for people in my community, I think that is going to be a pretty easy choice for them," said Hegar.
Hegar received national attention when she tried to unseat Round Rock's longtime U.S. Rep. John Carter (R-TX 31st District) in 2018.
Hegar's campaign video, "Doors," where she challenged a policy about women in combat, went viral. The race against Carter was close, ending with Hegar within three points in a district that had been red for a long time.
"I guess the lesson that we learned is that there is no such thing as reliably red or blue. The lesson is, 'Who is coming to the polls?' especially in a low voter turnout state and district. You have to inspire people. Show them that there are choices," she added.
This time, she will take the lessons she learned in that regional race to Texas voters statewide.
"I am a fighter, just like they are, and that I am ready to stand up and fight for Texans and Texas values," said Hegar.
Cornyn has said for months that whoever his opponent is in 2020 he will be ready.
Hegar isn't Cornyn's lone challenger. On the Democratic side, according to the Texas Tribune, Michael Cooper, Sema Hernandez and Adrian Ocegueda are also running.
At 8:30 a.m. Sunday on NBC 5's Lone Star Politics, we speak to Hegar about her positions on immigration, health care, gun control and impeachement.