Ted Cruz, the Tea Party favorite in a Texas Republican primary runoff for a vacant U.S. Senate seat, trounced his opponent Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst on Tuesday. If he beats his Democratic challenger, Cruz will be the first Hispanic U.S. senator from Texas.
Cruz, 41, a former state solicitor general who has never held elected office, is the third insurgent Republican this year to defeat an establishment Republican in a U.S. Senate primary.
Dewhurst, 66, a wealthy businessman who had the support of top Texas Republicans, including Governor Rick Perry, started the race as the front-runner. But Cruz drew support from conservative stars like former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and money from national conservative groups like the Club for Growth.
"Ted Cruz won because he clearly articulated the pro-growth message that Republican voters across the country have responded to," Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said in a statement. Club for Growth's political action committee spent $5.5 million to support Cruz, the organization said.