A couple of things are apparent after today’s victory for Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate primary run-off over Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. First, the Tea Party has pretty much solidified it’s power in the Republican Party and second, moderates are being run out of the G.O.P. Cruz and Dewhurst have been engaged in a nasty, bare knuckles fist fight for the seat being vacated by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson. Cruz once was considered a long shot to take down well-heeled Lt. Gov. Dewhurst – the favorite of the party establishment and Hutchison’s heir apparent. But he steadily gained in the polls during their bare-knuckles campaign brawl, and his lead opened up as soon as the earliest returns were posted. By 8:30 p.m. The Texas Tribune and the Associated Press had named Cruz the winner.
“It shows that we’re able to mobilize in a state this large, where everybody said it couldn’t be done,” said Ryan Seth Hecker, chief operating officer of FreedomWorks for America, a super PAC and Tea Party support group that backed Cruz. “What it shows is that real bottom-up energy can win here, and if it can win here, it can win anywhere.” I would take exception with Hecker’s assertion that the Tea Party can win anywhere. Their victories in red states like Indiana and Texas are hardly indicative of the rest of the country. The Tea Party still has it’s work cut out for it. On the Democratic side, former state Rep. Paul Sadler trounced San Antonio educator Grady Yarbrough for the chance to face Cruz in November.