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Report: Ex-General Will Run for TX Senate Seat...as a Democrat

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"I can neither confirm nor deny."

You may not remember retired Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, but you will probably be hearing his name a lot very soon. That's because Sanchez, who was forced out as the top commander in Iraq, is reportedly going to be running for U.S. Senate in TX. But he's not going to be running as a conservative, as some might think. Instead, the man once disgraced by the Abu Ghraib scandal has been recruited to run as a Democrat.

The news has reportedly been confirmed by former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, the McClatchy Newspapers reports:

Former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes confirmed that Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the head of the Democratic Senate campaign committee, was referring to Sanchez Thursday when she said that Democrats were very close to announcing a candidate in Texas.

Sanchez, reached by phone at his San Antonio home, said, "I can neither confirm nor deny."

What Sanchez was willing to talk about was his political views -- views that include the key word "progressive:"

"I would describe myself as during my military career as supporting the president and the Constitution," Sanchez said. "After the military, I decided that socially, I'm a progressive, a fiscal conservative and a strong supporter, obviously, of national defense."

Sanchez, a Rio Grande City, Texas, native, said that he was shaped by his upbringing.

"It's my views and my history, having grown up in south Texas, depending on social programs and assistance, that America has a responsibility to its people," he said.

Considering the strong -- and growing -- Latino population in Texas, some think Sanchez has a good chance in the historically red state.

"I think he will be a very viable candidate," Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) said. "He's got the background. Texas is about ripe to start shifting into the blue area."

But the Republican Party isn't convinced, and issued a challenge.

"Republicans can only hope that national Democrats are going to waste their money in the state of Texas," National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brian Walsh said, "We look forward to their mystery candidate."

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