June 3, 2012 (Liberty, Texas) -- Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz are heading to perhaps the most heavily financed runoff in the state's Republican primary history. In the primary Liberty County voted over 60% in favor of the better known Dewhurst, Ted Cruz has 60 days from primary night to gain the trust of 51% of voters across Texas.
The race to replace Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison was all out war, with brutally aggressive attacks from both sides. Cruz and Dewhurst competed to see who could claim to be the true conservative in the race. Dewhurst called in his markers and got endorsements from popular Republican Mike Huckabee and Texas Governor Rick Perry while conservatives that didn’t owe any paybacks for previous campaign help seem to all back Cruz – that would include Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum.
Despite better name recognition and the ability to call in favors, David Dewhurst, the party establishment's choice, was short of the majority needed to earn the nomination outright. Most people credit the tea party for keeping Cruz’s campaign alive. He is hoping to have a better chance in a Republican run-off where it is less likely for Democrats in rural counties to vote. In the primary Dewhurst is said to have voted in big numbers for his opponent. He is also banking on the word getting out on the deceiving television and radio ads trying portraying him as someone who would sell out to China to win a legal fee. In short, the longer the race, the better opportunity Cruz has to let people know who he is and compare Dewhurst record to Cruz’s vision for Texas’ future.
The two men will now face a runoff election on July 31 to advance to the November general election. A runoff also will decide the Democratic primary.