Brian Cronin for Texas Senate

During the process of reaching out to candidates running in districts we have targeted, we get asked the same question a lot - what is our goal? What are we looking for in candidates in order to endorse them? The answer is simple: improvement.

We understand that firearms regulation is not an issue that calls for a homogeneous approach. That a legislators from varied districts and states can't be expected to have the same point of view. While we grade legislation and score lawmakers based on their actions, we do not have a litmus test when it comes to choosing challengers in the districts we have determined to have the most regressive representation when it comes to guns. And so, again, our only criteria is: will the candidates we recommend offer an improvement?

In Texas' 5th Senate district, we believe that all the Democratic challengers would offer that improvement over Sen. Charles Schwertner. But it is Brian Cronin that we feel provides the best opportunity for this district to move in the right direction.

Cronin's personal story (his parents were small business owners who briefly needed food stamps to feed their family, and Cronin and his wife have fostered and adopted children) and professional life (two advanced degrees he owes to the opportunity afforded by student loans) make him a compelling candidate. He's committed to the issues of responsive government and investment in public education, and recognizes Texas' unique situation as home to 4.5 million uninsured Americans. In our correspondence, he has expressed his interest in championing gun safety and reducing gun violence, and we have no doubt that he would provide a much-needed change in representation for the people of the 5th district and bring a much more thoughtful approach to reforms than the current officeholder.

Schwertner has faced nominal competition for his seat in recent elections, but SD-5 is younger and more diverse than many of the districts we've profiled. If anyone can break through, it's someone like Cronin - a talented candidate who can give a credible voice to the Democratic message in this part of the country. We strongly endorse his campaign, and urge anyone interested in the sort of improvement we seek to support him in 2018.