MJ Hegar Is Running for Senate Against Big John Cornyn

After narrowly losing a congressional race, the Air Force veteran is aiming higher.

The Air Force veteran behind one of the most viral videos of the 2018 campaign is back. MJ Hegar—who last year nearly knocked off a longtime GOP congressman in a heavily Republican district—announced Tuesday that she will challenge Texas Sen. John Cornyn in 2020.

Hegar burst onto the national scene last year with a video, titled “Doors,” that detailed her military service and her fight against the ban on women in ground combat jobs. She went on to narrowly lose her race against Republican incumbent John Carter in Texas’ 31st congressional district.

Cornyn—who Hegar now hopes to unseat in 2020—has his own experience with viral ads. In 2008, his campaign released a bizarre Wild West-style video called “Big John.”

Hegar referenced “Big John” in her own video announcing her Senate run. “He calls himself ‘Big John,'” she notes, “But he shrinks out of the way while Mitch McConnell gets in the way of anything actually getting done in our government.”


The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.