AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Ted Cruz is a tea party darling and former Ivy League debating champion who can whip grassroots crowds into a frenzy. David Dewhurst is Texas’ longtime lieutenant governor whose network of conservative supporters extends across the state.
The two will meet in a July 31 runoff election to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Cruz is eager to deliver the kind of tea party groundswell that helped unseat mainstream Republicans in other conservative states.
But he will have to overcome Dewhurst’s formidable political organization, which includes help from popular Gov. Rick Perry. Dewhurst won the state’s primary in May by 10 percentage points.
Ted Cruz has grown accustomed to having his campaign speech interrupted by whoops and hollering, shrieks of “Go Ted!” and even an “A-Men!” or two.
The tea party favorite for a U.S. Senate seat from Texas has come a long way since he kicked off his campaign more than a year ago with seemingly no chance of competing against the GOP front-runner in the race, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. With the backing of national conservative groups and a fiery stage presence that has made crowds across the state swoon, Cruz has pushed himself into the spotlight and sparked speculation about whether he’s ready to pull off perhaps the nation’s biggest upset this year.
Read More at OfficialWire. By Will Weissert.