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Entries in David Dewhurst (5)

Wednesday
Aug012012

Ted Cruz Wins in Texas GOP Senate Runoff

Bill Clark/Roll Call(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Tea Party star Ted Cruz won the Texas Republican Senate primary Tuesday night, defeating “establishment” candidate and longtime Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

In the past several weeks, victory for Cruz, the former solicitor general, had begun to look increasingly likely, with polls showing him ahead of Dewhurst, and major national Tea Party stars like Sarah Palin and Sen. Jim DeMint turning out to campaign for him in the final days leading up to Tuesday's runoff.  However, for the bulk of the race Cruz had been the underdog, lacking in the wealth and name recognition enjoyed by Dewhurst, who has been the lieutenant governor under Rick Perry since 2003.

While Cruz, 41, may have had the majority of national star power on his side, Dewhurst, 66, had the backing of many in the Texas political establishment, including Perry.  Dewhurst also enjoyed a huge financial advantage over Cruz.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Dewhurst poured $11 million of his own personal fortune -- he founded a successful energy company called Falcon Seaboard -- into his campaign, spending a total of $19 million, as compared to Cruz’s $7 million spent. 

But ultimately Dewhurst’s wallet was no match for Cruz’s political prowess.

Cruz painted his opponent as a moderate who would be willing, if not eager, to compromise with Democrats in Congress. 

Dewhurst has a very conservative record -- he’s anti-abortion rights, he supports a balanced budget amendment, and on Monday morning, he stopped by a Chick-Fil-A to show his support for the restaurant embroiled in a controversy regarding their president’s recent comments on gay marriage. 

Nevertheless, Cruz and his supporters pointed to compromises Dewhurst had made with Democrats in the state legislature, and argued that his record was merely a reflection of Perry’s conservative agenda and did not provide an accurate representation of Dewhurst’s own governing style.

The two men battled fiercely; neither imploded at any time, neither veered off their course, and the race remained close throughout the two months in between the state and presidential primary on May 29, when no one candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote, forcing a runoff. 

But in the end, strong poll numbers, strong surrogates and a slew of outside spending money from Tea Party affiliated groups like “FreedomWorks” and “Club For Growth” came together to give Cruz momentum that carried him over the finish line.

Cruz will go up against Democratic challenger state Rep. Paul Sadler in the fall in the open race to fill the seat left open by Kay Bailey Hutchison’s retirement, but he is widely expected to win because of the state’s strong Republican leanings.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul312012

Texas Voters Head to Polls in Senate Primary Runoff

Bill Clark/Roll Call(AUSTIN, Texas) -- After a long, expensive and fiercely-fought battle, the Texas GOP Senate primary will come to a close on Tuesday as voters cast ballots in the runoff between Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Solicitor General Ted Cruz.

Dewhurst, 66, and Cruz, 41, are facing off for the second time in their race to win the GOP nomination for Senate to fill the seat left vacant by Kay Bailey Hutchison’s retirement.  The two men battled for the first time in the state’s presidential and congressional primary on May 29.

But Texas election code stipulates that a candidate must receive 50 percent or more of the vote in a primary in order to win the nomination outright, and both men failed to hit that mark among a crowded primary field in May.

Although Dewhurst held a solid lead over Cruz in the May primary -- he finished with about 45 percent while Cruz received about 34 percent -- recent polling has shown Cruz ahead.  And while ultimately neither candidate’s victory will change the outcome of the race in the end -- the GOP nominee will be heavily favored to win the Senate race in November -- a Cruz victory would be a big win for the Tea Party.

Dewhurst, the longtime lieutenant governor to Texas governor and Tea Party star Rick Perry, is viewed as the “establishment” candidate in the race.  Cruz, the state’s first Hispanic solicitor general, is a rising Tea Party star.  He has garnered support from national leaders affiliated with the movement, including Jim DeMint, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin, all of whom turned out to campaign for Cruz this weekend.

Dewhurst is not lacking in conservative backing either.  Perry and Mike Huckabee have both appeared in ads for the candidate, and he has received endorsements from prominent pro-life groups like Texans for Life.  But Cruz and his supporters have questioned whether Dewhurst is indeed a “true conservative,” citing compromises Dewhurst made with Democrats in the state legislature during his time as lieutenant governor.

Judging by their records, and by the deeply red voter demographic in Texas, it’s highly likely that both men would be a dependable Republican vote in the Senate.  Nevertheless, the symbolism of Cruz’s outsider status, coupled with his prominent supporters, illustrates the boost to the movement his victory would bring.

In addition to the Tea Party vs. establishment narrative, the other story line that has dominated the Texas GOP Senate race is the money raised and spent.  The race is the most expensive Senate race in the country in terms of money spent, and the second-most expensive in terms of money raised so far (the Massachusetts Senate race has seen the most money raised), according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Cruz and Dewhurst have spent a combined total of $26 million, $19 million of which has come from Dewhurst.  The founder of a successful energy company, Falcon Seaboard, Dewhurst has spent $11 million out of his own pocket.  A lot of outside money has been spent on the race as well -- about $13.5 million.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jul272012

Texas Senate Primary Hits Final Stretch

Bill Clark/Roll Call(AUSTIN, Texas) -- It's been 19 months and tens of millions of dollars in the making, but the Texas Senate primary between former State Solicitor General Ted Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is finally nearing its end.

Next Tuesday, the two candidates face off in a runoff race for the GOP nomination for the Senate seat left open by Kay Bailey Hutchison's retirement.

When Hutchison announced her decision to retire in January 2011, Dewhurst seemed the likely replacement.  The longtime lieutenant governor had the experience, name recognition and money necessary to run in the Lone Star state.  But as was the case for many other seemingly shoo-in nominees before him, a Tea Party challenger emerged and the race became competitive.

The challenger was Ted Cruz, the former state solicitor general and a rising Tea Party star who has received the backing of such major national conservative politicians as Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin.  Cruz, 41, is young, charismatic and part Hispanic, characteristics that have led to comparisons with another rising Tea Party star, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

Cruz and Dewhurst initially faced off in May in the state's Republican presidential and congressional primaries.  But Texas' election bylaws stipulate that candidates must receive at least 50 percent of the vote to win the nomination.  Since neither Dewhurst nor Cruz hit the 50 percent mark in May, amid a primary field that included several other candidates, they face a final runoff on Tuesday.

The race has been brutal at times.  Dewhurst and Cruz have hit hard and consistently at each other for months.  The race also stands out as the most expensive Senate race in the country so far, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.  More than $37 million has been spent, the vast majority of which has come from Dewhurst.  Dewhurst spent $11 million of his own money -- part of a fortune he amassed from his energy company, Falcon Seaboard -- on the campaign out of a total of $19 million spent.

Cruz has raised and spent considerably less, taking in about $8 million and spending about $7 million.  However, what Cruz has lacked in finances he will probably make up for in star power.  Palin, Jim DeMint, Glenn Beck and Santorum will all be campaigning on Cruz's behalf this weekend.  Although Palin has backed several candidates in this election cycle -- Richard Mourdock in Indiana, Deb Fischer in Nebraska, Orrin Hatch in Utah -- all of whom went on to to win their respective Senate primary races, she hasn't been out on the trail that much.

The race is expected to be close, but so was Fischer's race in Nebraska, and Palin didn't turn out to campaign for her.  Palin's stumping for Cruz speaks to the star power the young candidate has amassed.

The candidate who wins the nomination will almost definitely go on to win the Senate seat in this deep red state.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun072012

Rick Perry Jeered for Dewhurst Support

Toni Sandys/The Washington Post(WASHINGTON) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry was met with jeers today at the Texas GOP Convention in Fort Worth after he expressed support for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Texas Senate primary race. But it seems the governor thought the set of boos was actually a supportive round of “Dew.”

“We need more strong, conservative Texans in Washington, including my friend and colleague David Dewhurst,” Perry said, according to prepared remarks.  Reporters attending the event tweeted about the boos emerging from the conservative audience.

Perry later told reporters that he thought the crowd was yelling “Dew,” a nickname for Dewhurst.

But the discontent with Perry’s endorsement of Dewhurst served as a sign of the crowd’s support for Tea Party darling and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, who is in a runoff against Dewhurst in the Republican Senate primary race.

The Republican primary race for retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat entered into a runoff after Dewhurst failed to gain 50 percent of the vote in the late May primary.  Dewhurst still beat Cruz by 18 points, but fell 2 points short of securing the nomination. The second round of voting will take place July 31.

Perry formally endorsed his lieutenant governor in May and even taped a television advertisement on his behalf.  Dewhurst also received the backing of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, but other major Republican figures leaped to the other side of the race.  Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum threw their backing behind Cruz.  Republican nominee Mitt Romney has stayed out of endorsing in the primary race.

Perry, who engaged in a five-month sprint for the White House, joked with the Republican crowd about his failed presidential bid.

“Twenty million dollars may not earn you any delegates, but it will give you a great tour of the country,” Perry said.

Perry has not ruled out another gubernatorial run in 2014 or even another shot at the presidency in 2016 and continues to keep his plans a mystery.

“I’m not riding off into the sunset. I’m mounting up for the next operation,” Perry said.

But one thing Perry, who endorsed Romney in April, always is eager to highlight is the failings of President Obama. Perry turned his own infamous "oops” moment into a critique of the president by saying, “Admit it America, 2008 was our national ‘oops’ moment.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May212012

Rick Perry Stars in Ad for Texas Senate Race

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A week before Texas Republicans head to the polls to select a Senate nominee, Gov. Rick Perry starred in a television advertisement on behalf of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who has poured millions of his personal fortune into the race.

“Texas Republicans have an important election on May the 29th.  We have a lot to be proud of.  That’s why I’m proud to endorse David Dewhurst,” Perry says in the 30-second TV spot. “David Dewhurst repeatedly cut spending.  David strongly opposes a state income tax.  David’s the one candidate best prepared to make conservative change happen in Washington.  Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Our country needs him and so does Texas.”

Dewhurst is running against former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and ESPN college football analyst Craig James for the Senate seat occupied by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who decided to retire at the end of the term

While Dewhurst, who has worked alongside Perry since 2003, received the Texas governor’s support, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has taken sides in the race and backed Cruz, even recording a “robo-call” for the Tea Party favorite.

Palin, who has helped a number of underdog candidates by doling out endorsements for them, recently endorsed a little-known Minnesota Senate candidate, Deb Fischer, which helped Fischer solidify the Republican nomination in the state’s primary last week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio