Cruz cruises to victory
By ALBERTO TOMAS HALPERN
TEXAS – Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz is on track to become the first Latino to represent the state of Texas in the U.S. Senate. A Tea Party favorite who received the endorsement of Sarah Palin, Cruz defeated Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst in the Republican runoff election.
The two candidates ran an expensive and fiery campaign, and while they agreed on most policy issues, the drawn-out campaign focused on personal differences rather than issue differences.
Cruz, a Cuban American, will face Democratic candidate Paul Sadler in the November general election, though no Democrat has won statewide office in Texas since 1994.
Cruz’s “chances of winning in November in a red state like Texas are 90 to 95 percent,” said Wayne Slater, a writer and political analyst for the Dallas Morning News.
Flanked by family, friends and supporters election night, Cruz said to a roaring crowd, “We did it. When we started they said this was impossible. They said I couldn’t do it, and you know what, I couldn’t do it, but you did.”
In his concession speech Tuesday night, Dewhurst thanked supporters, including Governor Rick Perry.
“This is not quite the way I envisioned the evening,” Dewhurst said, “Especially in light of my conservative record. We got beat up a little but we never gave up. We can stand tall in knowing that we never compromised any of our values.”
In his message to supporters, Dewhurst continued his party’s mantra against the Obama Administration.
“We will never stop fighting for our beloved Texas and we will never stop fighting President Barack Obama and his liberal agenda,” Dewhurst said to cheers.
Cruz bucked the Republican establishment in his race against Dewhurst, who had the support of the governor and other elected Republican officials. Before asking Dewhurst’s supporters to join his team in the general election, Cruz said, “Tonight is a victory for the grassroots. It is a testament to Republican women, to Tea Party leaders and to grassroots conservatives.”
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