Tags: texas | senate | race

Texas GOP Chooses Tea Party-Backed Cruz for Senate

Tuesday, 31 Jul 2012 09:27 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz scored a stunning upset over a longtime Texas state officeholder in a Republican U.S. Senate primary runoff on Tuesday, transforming Cruz into a national conservative star and marking a resurgence of the movement to shrink the size of U.S. government.
 
Cruz, 41, a former state solicitor general who has never held elected office, became the third insurgent Republican this year to defeat an establishment Republican in a U.S. Senate primary.

He scored a surprisingly comfortable victory with about 56 percent of the vote to about 44 percent for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who a year ago was considered the front-runner.

“They said this was impossible,” Cruz told a roaring crowd of supporters in Houston on Tuesday night. “They said I couldn't do it. And you know, they were right. I couldn't do it, but you could and you did it. Tonight is a victory for the grass roots.”

Cruz will be a strong favorite to win the election in November against Paul Sadler, who won the Democratic primary on Tuesday, because Texas has not elected a Democrat to statewide office since 1994. The Senate seat is being vacated by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Most Texans had never heard of Cruz when he took on Dewhurst, 66, a wealthy businessman who spent $19 million of his own money on the race and had the support of top Texas Republicans including Gov. Rick Perry.

“When Ted gets to Washington, he's going to be seen correctly as a giant-killer,” said Sal Russo, co-founder and chief strategist of Tea Party Express, the nation's largest tea party political action committee.

Cruz spent a year and a half crisscrossing the state, introducing himself at tea party meetings and Republican women's club gatherings as a “constitutional conservative.”

And he drew support from conservative stars such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and money from national conservative groups such as the Club for Growth. That group’s political action committee spent $5.5 million to support Cruz, the organization said.

Cruz, whose father came to Texas from Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear, would become the first Hispanic U.S. senator from Texas if he wins in November.

Dewhurst and Cruz had similar policy positions. Both pledged to do away with President Barack Obama's healthcare reform and to rein in Washington spending.

Cruz, a Princeton University debate champion and a Harvard Law School graduate, stood out with sharp debate performances. Some Cruz voters said they viewed Dewhurst, a former state land commissioner who has presided over the state senate since 2003, as something of an incumbent who had been in office too long.

Dewhurst received the most votes in a crowded field in the first round of the primary, but he did not secure the 50 percent plus one vote he needed to avoid a runoff with Cruz.

“We came up short, and I am not used to coming up short,” Dewhurst, who stands 6 feet 6 inches tall, told supporters Tuesday night in Houston.

Cruz's primary victory follows that of Richard Mourdock, the tea party movement-backed candidate who defeated longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar in the Republican primary in Indiana.

Since Mourdock's primary win, and another Republican primary upset victory in Nebraska with rancher Deb Fischer, who beat veteran attorney general Jon Bruning in a U.S. Senate primary, insurgent Republican groups have hoped for a similar story in Texas.

Some national political analysts had predicted the tea party movement, which sprang out of the 2008-2009 recession and advocates a small federal government, would be a diminished force in the 2012 election.

“The big thing that I think this demonstrates is that the Tea Party is far from gone. It's truly alive and well,” Russo said of Cruz's win.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Wall Street Tumbles; Dow Drops More Than 300

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 11:40 AM

U.S. stocks slumped in a broad decline on Thursday, with the Dow and S&P 500 turning negative for July on concerns about . . .

Report: 40 Companies Laying Off Workers in Cuomo's New York

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 17:00 PM

A recent review reveals that several companies are abandoning the Empire State or laying off workers, bringing New York' . . .

House Delays Recess Until Border Bill Is Passed

Thursday, 31 Jul 2014 16:53 PM

The U.S. House of Representatives will delay the start of a five-week recess in order to try to pass a funding bill deal . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved