Tea party insurgent Ted Cruz trounced Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the candidate supported by Gov. Rick Perry, in the race for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination in Texas, suggesting that the tea party could overtake the state’s Republican political establishment.
Cruz is a Cuban-American, Harvard-educated attorney who campaigned in the usual conservative terms of opposing taxation and government, with vague allusions to the defense of liberty and the Constitution.
“We did it,” Mr. Cruz told the cheering crowd gathered at a Marriott Hotel in Houston to claim victory. “Millions of Texans, millions of Americans are rising up to reclaim our country, defend liberty and restore the Constitution.”
Mr. Cruz, 41, is the latest conservative rebel to bring down an established party leader, tapping into frustration within the Republican ranks nationwide. These dissident triumphs include, in this year’s primaries, the defeat of Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana by Richard E. Mourdock and Deb Fischer’s win over a veteran Republican for the Senate nomination in Nebraska. They also echo Marco Rubio’s Senate victory in 2010 over a Republican governor, Charlie Crist of Florida.
… “Mr. Cruz’s success shows that the center of the state party has moved decisively to the right,” said James Henson, a political scientist at University of Texas. “The Republicans are in much more treacherous terrain, not because of threats from Democrats, but threats from within the party.”