Patt Morrison for August 1, 2012

Meet Ted Cruz, the newest GOP star

Texas Senate Race

Johnny Hanson/AP

Holding his daughter Caroline, U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz and and his wife, Heidi, holding their daughter, Catherine, appear before a cheerful crowd after Cruz defeated Republican rival, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a runoff election for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison Tuesday, July 31, 2012, in Houston.

Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz has won the Texas Republican primary for Senate, and will face off against Democratic nominee Paul Sadler in the November general election. Cruz is widely expected to defeat Sadler in typically conservative Texas. Once considered a long-shot in the race, Cruz now is riding a wave of momentum and is being considered by pundits as a rising star in the Republican party, along with fellow Latino Republican Marco Rubio. At the onset of the Senate race, Cruz wasn’t even considered the favorite in his own party. The Republican establishment had supported David Dewhurst. But Cruz’s tea party ties and fiscal conservatism resonated with Texan voters in the runoff election. Cruz defeated Dewhurst by 14 percent in the runoff election, after coming in second to Dewhurst in the May primary, despite being outspent by Dewhurst by a margin of 3-to-1 and political figures like Texas Gov. Rick Perry publicly backing Dewhurst.

WEIGH IN:

Do you think Cruz's primary win is a sign of the Tea Party's rise?

Guest:

Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Southwest Voter Registration Project


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