In the Texas runoff election yesterday, Tea Party choice Ted Cruz (R) wrestled the nomination from the establishment’s incumbent Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. The race for the powerful Texas seat is currently held by retiring Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who has served since 1993. In November Cruz will face Democrat Paul Sadler, a state Representative, but the seat is favored to remain in Republican territory.
The widely watched race for this important seat is reputed to be the most expensive in Texas’ political history. Combined, the two candidates spent upward of $40 million. Cruz’s opponent, wealthy Dewhurst, loaned his own campaign at least 24.5 million. Fox News reports, “But Cruz has a fiery stage presence that made tea party supporters across the state swoon, and received millions from national, conservative organizations which targeted Dewhurst as too moderate.”
Dewhurst received 44 percent of the vote in the May primary, but that wasn’t enough to avoid a runoff. Since Dewhurst didn’t score a majority, the runoff pitted him against second-placer Cruz.
Cruz is a Cuban-American lawyer and former state Solicitor General. Yahoo.news reported comments from his victory speech, “Tonight is a victory for the grassroots. It is a testament to Republican women, to tea party leaders and to grassroots conservatives. This is how elections are supposed to be decided–by ‘we the people.’ “
Indeed, his victory made an elephant-sized statement for the grassroots. The race has proven that the efforts of the Tea Party can upset the Republican establishment. In Texas, that establishment was firmly behind Dewhurst. Cruz took important endorsements from national figures like Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint, but not from his own governor, failed Presidential hopeful Rick Perry, who backed Dewhurst.
Read More at thenewamerican.com. By Kelly Holt.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)