Texas’s Ted Cruz has come a long way in his quest to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in the United States Senate. He has spent the better part of the last year slowly closing the polling gap with his principal rival, the better-known lieutenant governor David Dewhurst, to the point that a runoff between the two now seems the likeliest of outcomes in the May 29 primary. But finishing a strong second isn’t an outcome worthy of an articulate, principled conservative such as Cruz. He can and should win a runoff with Dewhurst, become the Republican nominee, and be elected the next senator from the state of Texas.
Regular readers of National Review Online will have no doubt heard the basics about the 41-year-old Cruz from one of his many fans here. But to review: Cruz is a Houston native and the son of a Cuban immigrant; he went on to be a Princeton debate champion, a standout at Harvard Law, and a clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist. He advised George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign on domestic policy and served in the administration in both the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission. Back in Texas, he was an able and busy solicitor general from 2003 to 2008, playing pivotal roles in Supreme Court decisions that kept God in the Pledge of Allegiance, affirmed the individual right to bear arms, and held off an attempt by the International Criminal Court (and the Bush administration) to meddle with Texas’s legal system.
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