AUSTIN, Texas - Tea party-backed Ted Cruz has defeated Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
The former state solicitor general won the runoff Tuesday. He'd lost the May 29 primary by a large margin but forced the runoff because Dewhurst fell short of a majority. Cruz advances to the November election to succeed retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Cruz painted Dewhurst as a timid career politician too willing to compromise with Democrats.
The race was seen as a national test of the tea party's influence.
Dewhurst had represented the mainstream GOP choice and had the backing of Gov. Rick Perry. But tea party activists and conservative leaders from across the country supported Cruz. Their funding and grassroots organizing helped him overcome Dewhurst's financial advantage and name recognition.
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