Ted Cruz Gives Republicans Another Hispanic Star In The Senate
While everyone is riveted on the presidential race, it should be noted that all members of the House and one third of the Senate are up for grabs as well. In the Texas Republican primary for the Senate seat of the retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison, Ted Cruz upset Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst who enjoyed the backing of Governor Rick Perry and even worked with Perry's campaign staff.
While the Democrats also produced a nominee in the form of Representative Paul Sadler, the Republican dominance in statewide contests in the Lone Star State means that he will have an exceedingly arduous uphill struggle. It therefore looks like the Republicans will have another Hispanic senator like Marco Rubio, who is also of Cuban-American origin.
The candidate's full name is Rafael Edward Cruz. Cuban-Americans are the Hispanic equivalent of Orthodox Jews - politically - in the sense that unlike most of their brethren, they tend to trend Republican.
Although the victory for Cruz represents another scalp taken by the Tea Party at the expense of the establishment, the Republicans will undoubtedly attempt to portray the Cruz victory as a sign of their openness to talented Hispanic candidates. The Democrats will seek to portray the outcome as a victory for the ultraconservatives who are pushing the Republican Party further to the right.
The main factor behind the Cruz upset victory was the backing that he enjoyed from religious voters as well as from the Tea Party. Cruz, after all, successfully defended the display of the Ten Commandments.
Conservative icons such as Sarah Palin, South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and former Senator Rick Santorum campaigned for him and conservative money help counterbalance the $24.5 million that Dewhurst put into the campaign from his own resources.
It will be hard to tag Ted Cruz as some sort of bumpkin. He was a star debater in Princeton and then went on to Harvard Law (Law Review Editor) and he clerked with former Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist.
This has not been the best of years for Governor Rick Perry, who was humiliated in the Republican primary process, although at one stage he was the front runner and it may affect his decision whether to seek a 4th term as governor in 2014.