Ted Cruz, the former Texas Solicitor General who gained the support of tea party groups in his campaign for U.S. Senate, has won the Republican primary runoff — virtually tantamount to election in deep-red Texas — in the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
With 20 percent of precincts reporting, Cruz has 54 percent of the vote, compared to 46 percent for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who had the support of Gov. Rick Perry and much of the state GOP establishment.
These precincts in fact represent a much greater share of the total ballots, due to the heavy use of early-voting in Texas. Cruz was projected as the winner by the Associated Press.
In the first round of primary voting in late May, Dewhurst had led with 45 percent, followed by Cruz at 34 percent. Under Texas law, however, a runoff was triggered due to no candidate reaching 50 percent of the vote.