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
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)
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(Newser) – 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."

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