Ted Cruz, a Tea Party favorite, won the Texas GOP nomination for U.S. Senate tonight and is virtually assured of prevailing in the November general election in the Republican-trending state.
Cruz, 41, defeated “establishment” candidate David Dewhurst, the Texas Lieutenant Governor, who originally entered the primary season as the heavy favorite.
With 48 percent of precincts reporting, Cruz led Dewhurst 55 percent to 45 percent, according to the AP, which called the runoff election for Cruz.
On May 29, in a multi-candidate GOP primary, Dewhurst got 44.6% of the vote to 34.2 percent for Cruz. Texas, however, requires a majority for nomination, prompting a runoff between the top two vote-getters today. Support for Cruz among grassroots Republican voters surged during this two-month period.
From 2003-08, Ted Cruz served as the Solicitor General of Texas, the chief lawyer for the State before the U.S. Supreme Court and all the state and federal appellate courts. Cruz was the youngest Solicitor General in the nation, the longest serving Solicitor General in Texas, and the first Hispanic Solicitor General in Texas.
If elected in November, Cruz will replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, who is retiring.
In endorsing the Senate candidacy of Ted Cruz shortly before the runoff election, National Review Online declared that….
Mr. Cruz’s personal credentials are sterling: An authentic conservative intellectual, he was a star at Princeton and Harvard law, winning the admiration of thinkers as politically opposed as Robert P. George and Alan Dershowitz. He clerked on the Supreme Court under William Rehnquist and is an unwavering defender of our constitutional order. Having a great deal of experience before the Supreme Court, he would be invaluable when it comes time for the Senate to vet appointments to the highest courts in the land — under both Democratic and Republican presidents. And as the Houston-raised son of a Cuban immigrant, he is proof positive that the American dream is very much alive and well — if in desperate need of defenders within the political system. Mr. Cruz can provide that defense in a way that Mr. Dewhurst simply is not equipped to do.
Update: With all the votes counted, Cruz cruised to victory by a margin of 57 to 43 percent.