Tea Party’s Ted Cruz Defeats GOP Favorite, Could Become Texas’ First Latino Senator

It wasn't supposed to happen this way.

By Julianne Hing Aug 01, 2012

Tea party darling and political newcomer Ted Cruz, whose father fled Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear, pulled off a stunning upset Tuesday when he won a GOP runoff for a Texas Senate seat. Cruz beat longtime politician, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who sank $19 million of his own money into his campaign and was backed by the GOP establishment, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Cruz is a Harvard Law School graduate and a former state solicitor general, but he’s never held elected office. That inexperience was of little concern for Texas voters, who backed him by a landslide 56 to 44 percent against Dewhurst, [Reuters](http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/01/us-usa-campaign-texas-concedes-idUSBRE87004I20120801) reported. Cruz is the third tea party-backed candidate to unseat a Republican in a U.S. Senate primary. Cruz [called it](http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/01/us-usa-campaign-texas-concedes-idUSBRE87004I20120801) a victory for the people: >"They said this was impossible," Cruz told a roaring crowd of supporters in Houston on Tuesday night. "They said I couldn’t do it. And you know, they were right. I couldn’t do it, but you could and you did it. Tonight is a victory for the grass roots." Political experts say Cruz is facing an easy race against Democrat Paul Sadler, who won the Democratic primary Tuesday night.