CBS News reports that “Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, a former commander in Iraq, appears poised to run as a Democrat for the Senate seat of retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.”
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee tells CBS News that Sanchez is expected to enter the race, though Sanchez is neither confirming nor denying his plans.
Though Texas is a traditionally red state, Democrats are seeking to make inroads there due in part to a surge in the state’s Latino population. A Sanchez candidacy could make the 2012 Senate race more competitive.
Yet Sanchez has one potential glaring issue to deal with: He served as commander of U.S. forces in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, during the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Sanchez, who retired in 2006, was never implicated of any wrongdoing, but conservative pundits are already pointing to that association and questioning whether Democratic voters would support him.