Tea party candidate Ted Cruz wins in Texas GOP runoff

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Tea party favorite Ted Cruz, once considered a long shot to win the Texas Republican Senate nomination, beat Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a bitterly contested and expensive two-man runoff election Tuesday.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Mr. Cruz got 57 percent of the vote to Mr. Dewhurst’s 43 percent, according to official election returns.

Mr. Cruz will face former Texas state lawmaker Paul Sadler, who the AP declared the winner over Grady Yarbrough in Tuesday’s Democratic primary runoff. But Mr. Sadler will have a huge cash disadvantage and be a significant underdog come November in the Republican-dominated state.

A year ago Mr. Dewhurst, 66, was considered the heir apparent to the seat, which was created by the retirement of four-term incumbent GOPSen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. He was endorsed by the largely popular Gov. Rick Perry. And a personal fortune estimated to be worth $200 million meant that any serious opponent was going to have to raise significant cash to stay competitive.

The lieutenant governor had touted his experience in the Air Force, the CIA and in business, as well as a statewide political career that began in 1999 as the commissioner of the Texas General Land Office.

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