Race to Watch: U.S. Senate

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz

The U.S. Senate race in Texas this election season has been a turbulent one. Both major parties had runoffs. The Republicans ended up with former solicitor general Ted Cruz, who beat out Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Democrats chose former state Rep. Paul Sadler.

In a recent ad, Sadler – a lawyer from Henderson – has labeled his opponent – a tea party favorite – as “the most extreme Senate candidate in Texas history.”

Cruz has seen a nationwide boost from a host of conservative groups. His fundraising far surpasses Sadler’s – giving him a definite edge on television sets across Texas. One of his latest ads features his father, who fled fighting and capture in Cuba.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Paul Sadler

Cruz’s campaign has waged war on President Barack Obama’s administration. Sadler has been most prominent as a fiery debater, challenging Cruz to six such events – Cruz agreed to two.

The winner of this race might help shape the face of the Senate, as Cruz could be expected to back Texas’ other Senator – John Cornyn – in a run for the party’s second highest leadership post – majority whip. Cruz has yet to indicate his support publicly.

This Senate seat is being vacated by Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison. Libertarian John Jay Myers – a Dallas businessman – and the Green Party’s David Collins – a Houston activist – are also running.

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