The state's former solicitor general, running now for attorney general, hopes his Cuban heritage will be a plus with 'fundamentally conservative' Latinos.
The son of a Cuban immigrant, Mr. Cruz, 38, has degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. He was a champion college debater, clerked for Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and has argued eight cases before the US Supreme Court. Among his victories in the high court, he defended the constitutionality of Texas’ Ten Commandments monument and congressional redistricting. Last year, he completed 5-1/2 years as Texas solicitor general, the first Hispanic to hold that job and the youngest in the nation.
Now he’s taking the plunge into electoral politics, and a GOP eager for fresh talent is applauding. For a party that dropped to only 31 percent of the Latino vote in the 2008 presidential race, so much the better that he’s Hispanic.
But, as many a failed candidate knows, being the smartest man in the room doesn’t guarantee election. Cruz has never run for office before, and his Cuban heritage may not give him an automatic in with Texas’ largely Mexican and otherwise non-Cuban Hispanics. It also remains to be seen how an Ivy League hotshot will play with Joe Six-Pack.