Entries in Runoff (2)


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


Texas GOP Senate Primary Going to Runoff

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AUSTIN, Texas) -- The Texas Republican Senate primary will go to a runoff, with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Solicitor General and Tea Party up-and-comer Ted Cruz facing off in the contest, which is scheduled for July 31.

In order to win their party’s nomination outright, a candidate in Texas must receive at least 50 percent of the vote.  With almost all of the precincts reporting, neither candidate was able to do that Tuesday night.  Dewhurst came in first and Cruz followed in second, while former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert and former ESPN analyst Craig James finished in a distant third and fourth place, respectively.

Cruz has argued that he will be the beneficiary in a runoff.

“If we get to a runoff, we win decisively,” Cruz told ABC News in an interview.

Dewhurst said his strategy in a runoff will be the same as his strategy in the primary -- to be the top vote-getter.

“As long as I do that then we’ll either win the primary on Tuesday night or we’ll win the primary on the runoff date on July 31,″ he said.

Many GOP strategists in the state believe that Cruz will do well in a runoff, as turnout is likely to drop off to a more conservative bloc of voters, who would presumably be inclined to back Cruz.  However, Dewhurst could get a bump from Leppert supporters.  If they turnout in the primary, conventional wisdom is they would likely favor the lieutenant governor over the former solicitor general.

Meanwhile, the Democratic primary in Texas will also go to a runoff between former State Representative Paul Sadler and Grady Yarbrough, a San Antonio resident.  That primary has received significantly less attention however, as the Senate seat, currently held by retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, is widely considered to be safe for Republicans.  Democrats have not won a statewide election in Texas since 1994.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio