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Posts in "Texas Senate"
April 11, 2013
Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, raised $1.85 million in the first quarter — a handsome sum for the senator up for re-election in 2014.
Cornyn will report having $4.2 million in cash on hand, according to figures provided exclusively to CQ Roll Call from a source close to the senator. Full story
January 29, 2013
Updated 1:17 p.m. | The founder and director of a grass-roots conservative group said he expects Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, to face a primary challenge. Cornyn is up for re-election in 2014.
“I don’t know how good of a primary challenge he is going to get at this point, but he will get a primary challenge,” said Dean Wright, co-founder and director of New Revolution Now, based in Austin, Texas.
“There is vetting going on,” Wright said, but he did not have any other details. He noted that one possible challenger could be Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is viewed as much more likely to run for governor in 2014. Abbott and Cornyn are known to have a cordial relationship, with Cornyn once touting Abbott as a possible Senate candidate.
“He would, if he did run, most likely bring in the tea party and the conservative grass roots behind him,” Wright said, adding that his group would likely support Abbott.
Abbot came to the national stage in 2005 when he defended before the U.S. Supreme Court, and won, the right of the state to display a Ten Commandments monument on the state capitol grounds.
Still, the idea that Abbott would challenge Cornyn seems far fetched at this point. “Anyone who knows anything about Texas politics knows that Abbott is gearing up to run for governor,” a Texas GOP source said.
Cornyn has said he isn’t taking his seat for granted and is expecting a primary challenge.
Others agree that a challenge could be in the offing, but were skeptical of the challenger winning.
With Cornyn considered “part of the establishment, maybe he’ll draw a primary opponent, but I don’t anticipate any strong opponent,” said a Texas Republican political operative.
A Texas GOP political consultant said there is definitely a segment of the party that wants Cornyn to be challenged, but the movement may be waning, which could help the minority whip retain his seat.
“When it comes to crazies Texas really is a whole different level,” the consultant said. “I’m not sure their thirst can be quenched. He’s preparing for somebody.”
November 28, 2012
But that’s exactly how things looked two years before the 2012 elections, when Democrats surprised many with victories in Missouri and North Dakota on their way to picking up two seats. So the challenge for the GOP and incoming National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas is to capitalize on their opportunities.
That and how voters feel about President Barack Obama in 2014 could determine how the parties fare at the ballot box less than two years from now. Democrats won their current majority in 2006, in the second midterm election under President George W. Bush.
Republicans are hoping Obama’s second midterm is similarly kind to them, if not equal to the president’s 2010 midterm shellacking, when the GOP won seven seats (and control of the House) despite beginning the cycle as the underdog.
July 31, 2012
Updated 9:43 p.m. | Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, a virtual political unknown only a year ago, has shocked the Texas political system and defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the GOP primary to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, according to the Associated Press.
Cruz had 53.6 percent of the vote to Dewhurst’s 46.4 percent at the time the AP called the race, with just 22.5 percent of precincts reporting. Although that result was widely anticipated in the final days of the campaign, it cannot be emphasized enough how much of a stunning development this is.
Texas is not akin to GOP Sen. Dick Lugar’s loss in Indiana or in states where a tea party insurgent knocked off a party favorite in 2010.
The media market is one of the most expensive in the country, and the money needed to travel the geographic expanse sets the Lone Star State apart from other states. And yet, Cruz and his coalition of national tea party figures and groups such as the Club for Growth and Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) Senate Conservatives Fund beat the odds.
Nearly every GOP state Senator and Gov. Rick Perry (R) backed Dewhurst. Perry campaigned vigorously on his behalf. Republicans in the state disagree over whether Perry’s failed effort for Dewhurst will show weakness.
Cruz is all but assured he will be elected to the Senate in the fall.
Updated 9:43 p.m.
Sen. John Cornyn (Texas), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, praised Cruz in a press release shortly after the race was called.
“Ted believes, as I do, that we need to make Washington DC look a little more like the great state of Texas, and that starts with restoring common-sense, conservative values in our nation’s Capital,” he said.
“With a strong, hard-working ally in Ted Cruz, we will work to pass a balanced budget amendment, remove the federal government’s boot off the neck of our small businesses, and repeal-and-replace ObamaCare,” he added.
Chris Chocola, president of the Club for Growth, said in a press release that Cruz “clearly articulated the pro-growth message that Republican voters across the country have responded to.”
The Club for Growth PAC spent more than $5.5 million in independent expenditures on the campaign, according to the release.
July 30, 2012
Come Wednesday morning, at least one pollster will have some explaining to do about final numbers heading into Tuesday’s Texas Senate runoff. That’s because the last surveys released over the weekend showed both Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz ahead.
A Dewhurst poll conducted last week showed him ahead of Cruz by 5 points. Then Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm, released an automated survey that showed Cruz up by 10 points.
Cruz has steadily built momentum since the late May primary, and most observers of the race believe he will win — probably by a comfortable margin. Sources in the Cruz camp were confident going into the weekend, saying their polling has held steady since Roll Call obtained a late June internal survey that showed Cruz in the lead.
July 27, 2012
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz are playing to their strengths in the final stretch before Tuesday’s GOP Senate runoff.
According to recently filed Federal Election Commission reports, Dewhurst has loaned his campaign an additional $8 million since his pre-runoff report. That brings his loan total to $24.5 million, according to the Houston Chronicle. Dewhurst’s personal fortune was always his greatest strength and he has proven willing to spend generously.
Part of that money will go toward a new television ad featuring Gov. Rick Perry (R).
July 25, 2012
The campaign of former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz announced this afternoon that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) are scheduled to headline a rally for his campaign Friday evening.
The get-out-the-vote rally will kick off the final weekend of campaigning before Tuesday’s runoff and will be held in the Woodlands, which is an exurban city in the Houston area.
Several local and national tea party leaders are also scheduled to be in attendance, including Amy Kremer of the Tea Party Express.
Cruz faces Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the runoff for the GOP nomination to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R). Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.
July 23, 2012
The two candidates in the runoff to decide the GOP nominee for Senate cast their ballots Monday amid some fanfare.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was accompanied to the polls by Gov. Rick Perry. His opponent, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, was joined by his family while voting in Houston, his hometown.
The first day of early voting before the July 31 runoff was a busy one in other respects. Full story
July 20, 2012
Hall of fame pitcher Nolan Ryan today endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Texas Senate GOP runoff.
There are few human beings, let alone conservatives, who are more popular than Ryan in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He played for several ball clubs, including the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.
July 18, 2012
Tom Leppert, former contender for the GOP nomination for Senate and the former mayor of Dallas, endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) for Senate this week.
“We must elect leaders who have the experience of creating jobs and dealing with the fiscal issues facing our nation — leaders with a practical understanding of what makes our country work,” Leppert said in a statement released by the Dewhurst campaign. “David Dewhurst has that experience and it is for that reason that I endorse David Dewhurst for the U.S. Senate.”
Dewhurst, the establishment favorite, faces a tough GOP primary runoff against tea party darling Ted Cruz, the former Texas solicitor general.
The runoff is set for July 31.
July 16, 2012
When it comes to individual contributions, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz outraised Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the GOP runoff to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
The Cruz campaign raised $1.7 million in individual donations. Individual contributors donated $1.5 million to the Dewhurst campaign.
Still, Dewhurst’s overall financial picture is bright. In total, he took in almost $6 million; about $4.5 million of that was his own money. Cruz, who loaned his campaign $960,000 for a total $2.7 million, will have the help of outside groups such as the Club for Growth and super PACs.
July 11, 2012
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst led former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz by 8 points in a recent internal poll obtained by Roll Call.
Fifty percent of respondents said they would vote for Dewhurst in the July 31 GOP runoff, while 42 percent supported Cruz. National Journal’s the Hotline first reported the results of the poll, which was conducted by Dewhurst pollster Mike Baselice.
It is a striking difference from a late June Cruz internal poll obtained last week that showed Cruz with a 9-point lead over Dewhurst.
The difference in the results appears to be rooted in how each campaign determines who is a “likely runoff voter.” The Dewhurst poll surveyed those who had voted in previous GOP primaries and stated an intent to vote in the runoff. Full story
July 9, 2012
Updated, 6:09 p.m. The Texas Republican establishment on Sunday came out hard against former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R) in his upstart Senate bid.
Nearly every state Senator signed an open letter addressed to “Fellow Texans” that offered a defense of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is running against Cruz in a July 31 GOP primary runoff to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R).
The letter never once mentions Cruz by name. But it makes clear the state Senators’ displeasure with statements he has made on sanctuary cities, state spending, the state’s Transportation Security Administration “Anti-Groping” bill and a state income tax.
July 6, 2012
Ted Cruz led Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst by 9 points in a recent internal poll conducted for the former Texas solicitor general’s campaign, a Cruz source has confirmed.
From the earliest days of the race to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), Dewhurst has been the frontrunner. But in this survey, 49 percent of respondents said they would vote for Cruz. Forty percent supported Dewhurst, and 11 percent were undecided.
July 2, 2012
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) announced today that he is backing former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz in the GOP Senate runoff to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R).
“Ted Cruz is that strong, proven conservative leader, a constitutional scholar, and a fighter through and through,” Burgess said in a press release. “He’ll lead the fight to stop the Obama agenda, and I look forward to fighting alongside Ted to repeal every word of ObamaCare.”