As U.S. Sen. John Cornyn faces a strong challenge from Democrat MJ Hegar, the incumbent Republican will make a campaign stop this weekend in Belton.

Cornyn, seeking his fourth term in the upper chamber of Congress, is scheduled to appear at 5 p.m. Saturday at Schoepf’s Bar-Be-Que, 702 E. Central Ave. in Belton. The stop is part of the senator’s statewide bus tour ahead of Election Day on Tuesday.

Nancy Boston, chairman of the Bell County Republican Party, said it makes sense for Cornyn, 68, to stop here.

“I think Bell County is a very important county. It’s one of the fastest growing counties. I think it was chosen for that reason,” Boston said. “It’s at the crossroads of the two interstate highways, so it’s a good place to stop.”

Cornyn has had a single-digit lead in recent polls, but Democratic outside groups are pouring millions of dollars into the race in an attempt to unseat him, The Texas Tribune reported.

Hegar, 44, an Air Force veteran, narrowly lost her 2018 bid for the 31st Congressional District, which covers Bell and Williamson counties.

The campaign stop will be a way to boost the chances of at least two down-ballot Republicans in Bell County.

U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock, and state Rep. Brad Buckley, R-Salado, are in heated races that also have seen a significant outpouring of cash from outside groups.

Carter, a nine-term incumbent, faces Austin Democrat Donna Imam, and Buckley, who is seeking a second term, is vying against Harker Heights Democrat KeKe Williams.

Boston said the event will be a way to motivate voters in Bell County to head to the polls Tuesday.

More than 89,000 voters have cast a ballot during early voting, according to the Bell County Elections Department. At least 41.4 percent of the 215,974 registered voters in the county have voted.

“And people have the opportunity to meet the senator, visit with him and ask him any question they might have,” Boston said.

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