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2012-08-09

Cruz's triumph remains talk of Lone Star State

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

The upset victory of Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz over Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, whom Conventional Wisdom had destined for the November General Election, continues to reverberate across the Lone Star State. The strength of the Texas Tea Party apparently took everyone - except for the Cruz camp - by surprise.

"I spoke with Ted Cruz after the AP (Associated Press) called the race and congratulated him on his remarkable victory," said Texas Senator John Cornyn during a telephone conference with Texas and national media on Wednesday, July 31. "I told him I looked forward to working with him as I am confident he will win in November senatorial race."

After acknowledging that Dewhurst had run a tough campaign, Cornyn noted that Dewhurst would continue to work for his constituents as "the most powerful elected official in Texas - that of lieutenant governor."

Regarding what impact Cruz would have in changing the "dynamics" of the Senate if elected, Cornyn said, "This was a major victory for Ted Cruz and a real upset. To his credit, he ran a campaign that inspired people across Texas to vote in the run-off election."

Cornyn continued, "Lately, a lot of anger has been directed at the members of Congress. People are looking for fighters and Ted spoke to that. I looking forward to helping him in the General Election."

Underscoring the sentiments of his colleague in the Senate, US Rep. Lamar Smith said, "America faces a national debt crisis because the federal government has spent far too much for far too long. We need to restore fiscal responsibility by cutting government spending, reducing waste and reining in out of control regulations. Unfortunately, President Obama's policies are only making matters worse. "

Smith continued, "I congratulate Ted Cruz on his nomination and hope that Texans across the state support his candidacy for senator in the November election. Ted is a strong conservative and I look forward to working with him to get Washington back on the right track."

During the telephone conference, Cornyn offered, "Senator (Jim) DeMint (of South Carolina) is trying to assemble a critical mass of like-minded senators. However, this is a matter of style not principle. Both Ted Cruz and I are dedicated conservatives."

Last year, DeMint became one of the first conservative leaders to endorse the virtually unknown Cruz. Prior to the Tuesday, July 31, run-off, DeMint joined seeming GOP kingmaker, Sarah Palin, to stump for Cruz in Texas.

In a recent interview with National Review Online reporter Robert Costa, DeMint analyzed Cruz's decisive win, saying, "This confirms that there is a new political reality. The people who are winning, for the Senate particularly, are those who are telling Americans the truth."

At his victory rally after winning the GOP nomination, Cruz told his supporters, "Millions of Texans and Americans are rising up to defend liberty and restore the Constitution.

We are rising up to take our country back."

In January 2011, Cruz announced his intention to run for US Senate based on his record of fighting for conservative principles and winning on a national level. From 2003-08, he served as the Solicitor General of Texas, the chief lawyer for the state before the US Supreme Court, in addition to the state and federal appellate courts. During his tenure, he became the youngest solicitor general in the nation, the longest serving solicitor general in Texas and the first Hispanic solicitor general in Texas.

Cruz has authored over 80 US Supreme Court briefs and personally argued 40 oral arguments, including nine before the US Supreme Court.

Working with Attorney General Greg Abbott, Cruz helped Texas achieve an unprecedented series of landmark national victories by successfully defending:

• U.S. sovereignty against the World Court in Medellin v. Texas.

• The Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms;

• The constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments monument;

• The constitutionality of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance;

• The constitutionality of Texas Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment law; and

• A Texas congressional redistricting plan.

The National Review has described Cruz as "a Republican star rising in Texas," as well as "a great Reaganite hope."

To a question as to whether Cruz would support Cornyn's quest as Republican Whip of the Senate over that of DeMint, Cornyn said, "Ted indicated that it would be presumptuous of him to express a view before the election."

DeMint has stated publically that he does not plan "to seek a Senate leadership post."

If elected Senate Whip, Cornyn would be in line to succeed Senator Mitch McConnell as majority leader. No one doubts that Texas would benefit by having soon-to-be Senior Senator John Cornyn assume a leadership role.

When asked if he had any advice for Cruz, Cornyn said, "In my years in politics, I have served in all three branches of the government - and they all required different skills and emphases. In the Senate, it's important to have an ability to persuade, reach a consensus and get the votes needed."

He added, "Republicans are unified, not divided as the press delights in reporting. I have no doubt in Ted's ability to work together (on both sides of the aisle)."

In the General Election, Cruz will face Democrat Paul Sadler. The winner will replace retiring Texas Senior Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison.

During his tenure in the Texas House of Representatives from 1991-2003, Sadler, an attorney, served on the Education, Judiciary, Pensions and Investments, Health and Human Services and Calendars committees. He was also one of eight members designated to the Legislative Budget Board.

Since 2008, Sadler has been executive director of the Wind Coalition, a nonprofit association designed to promote the responsible development of wind energy as a clean, reliable, affordable and infinite resource.