Tea Partier Forces Runoff for Texas Senate Seat

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's 45% of the vote not enough to slay Ted Cruz
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2012 8:43 AM CDT
Tea Partier Forces Runoff for Texas Senate Seat
Ted Cruz talks to supporters with his wife Heidi and daughters Catherine and Caroline, May 29, 2012, in the JW Marriott Houston in Houston.   (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Nick De la Torre)

It looks like the Tea Party insurgency isn't over yet. Movement darling Raphael "Ted" Cruz didn't win yesterday's Republican Senate primary, but he kept things close enough to force a runoff with his favored opponent, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the Wall Street Journal reports. Dewhurst had better name recognition, Rick Perry's endorsement, and a personal fortune to finance his campaign, but was only able to manage 45% of the vote, not enough to seal the deal. Cruz and Dewhurst are running to replace the retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Cruz, an ex-solicitor general, had been endorsed by the likes of Sarah Palin, and benefited from heavy spending from the conservative Club for Growth. He wound up with 34% of the vote. Dewhurst will still be the favorite in the July 31 runoff—particularly because third-place finisher Tom Leppert's backers are likely to jump to him—but it's not a done deal. "Cruz's people are more likely to turn out," says the head of one tea party group, "because we are more ideologically driven." (Read more Raphael "Ted" Cruz stories.)

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