To the amazement and disappointment of the entrenched Texas Republican party, Tea Party candidate Ted Cruz won a come-from-behind Senate primary runoff yesterday over Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.
The 41-year-old Latino candidate is a former state solicitor general but has never held elected office. He will face the Democratic senatorial candidate Paul Sadler in November. Both men are vying for the vacated Senate seat of Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Cruz’ win is considered an upset since he defeated the established and very well funded Republican candidate Dewhurst, who was the early favorite to win. Dewhurst spent his personal wealth and had the support of Texas Governor Rick Perry yet lost to the relatively unknown, very conservative Cruz.
During the campaign Cruz garnered the support of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, former Sen. Rick Santorum and Glenn Beck. He received funding from constitutional conservatives and national conservative political action committees.
Cruz is a graduate of Princeton and Harvard Law and his father migrated from Cuba. If he is victorious in November, he will be the first Hispanic Senator elected in Texas.