Ted Cruz, the Ron Paul-endorsed former state soliciter general of Texas identified as the "Tea Party" guy in a year where the Tea Party hasn't done much, wins his run-off against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to become the GOP candidate for Senate in Texas, a seat he is expected to win. The anti-tax Club for Growth spent over $5 million independently to push Cruz.
David Weigel at Slate thinks that Cruz and Dewhurst weren't so different on Republican policy that Cruz's victory should have seemed so important–but that Cruz's Hispanic background and relative youth (he's 41) made him a key get for the GOP in the Senate.
The New York Times on Cruz and how he campaigned:
A Harvard-trained lawyer, a former Washington official under President George W. Bush and the former solicitor general of Texas, Mr. Cruz had argued cases before the Supreme Court but never before run for office. He turned out to be a natural campaigner and with his implacable opposition to big government, he won the enthusiastic support of Tea Party activists in Texas and around the country…..
Mr. Dewhurst has a deeply conservative record, and often during the campaign the two candidates seemed to mimic each other on the issues, with both vowing to repeal President Obama's health care law, cut spending, get tough on the border and fight abortion.
But Mr. Cruz relentlessly portrayed his opponent as a creature of the establishment who is too quick to compromise.
In an Election Day appearance before a small but revved-up crowd outside a polling station in Houston, Mr. Cruz gave credit to his thousands of fervent, on-the-ground volunteers. "We're here today because of the grass-roots organizing," he said.
Reason 24/7 from earlier today on the Texas Senate runoff election.