CNBC reports on another Tea Party primary victory.
Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz scored a stunning upset over a longtime Texas state officeholder in a Republican U.S. Senate primary runoff on Tuesday, transforming Cruz into a national conservative star and marking a resurgence of the movement to shrink the size of U.S. government.
Cruz, 41, a former state solicitor general who has never held elected office, became the third insurgent Republican this year to defeat an establishment Republican in a U.S. Senate primary.
He scored a surprisingly comfortable victory with about 56 percent of the vote to about 44 percent for Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, who a year ago was considered the frontrunner.
[…]Cruz spent a year and a half crisscrossing the state, introducing himself at Tea Party meetings and Republican women’s club gatherings as a “constitutional conservative.”
And he drew support from conservative stars such as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and money from national conservative groups such as the Club for Growth. That group’s political action committee spent $5.5 million to support Cruz, the organization said.
Cruz, whose father came to Texas from Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear, would become the first Hispanic U.S. senator from Texas if he wins in November.
Dewhurst and Cruz had similar policy positions. Both pledged to do away with President Barack Obama’s health care reform and to rein in Washington spending.
Cruz, a Princeton University debate champion and a Harvard Law School graduate, stood out with sharp debate performances.
This is the third big Tea Party victory in a Republican primary. Richard Mourdock beat Richard Lugar in Indiana and Deb Fischer beat Jon Bruning in Nebraska. You can read more about Ted Cruz here.