Texas lieutenant governor David Dewhurst will face former state solicitor general Ted Cruz in a runoff election for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate on July 31. The Associated Press reports:
The race to replace U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has been fierce, with brutal attacks from all sides. Candidates competed to see who could claim to be the true conservative in the race.
Dewhurst was short of the majority needed to earn the nomination outright. The two men will now face a runoff election on July 31 to advance to the November general election. A runoff also will decide the Democratic primary.
Among Cruz's supporters is South Carolina senator Jim DeMint. DeMint tweeted shortly after the race was called that "Dewhurst failed to get a majority because he failed to fight for conservative principles. His false attacks backfired."
Update: Texas governor Rick Perry, who endorsed Dewhurst, released the following statement about Mitt Romney's presidential primary victory as well as the Senate primary:
Anita and I congratulate Mitt Romney on securing the Republican nomination and think it is appropriate that the strongest economic leader and jobs state has put him over the top in an election where President Obama’s failed jobs and economic record will be front and center.
Texas voters again demonstrated their strong commitment to conservative values to keep our state on the fiscally responsible path leading to jobs and opportunity. I’m proud to have supported strong fiscal and social conservatives across Texas who will join me in working to support stricter limits on government spending, opposing tax increases and preserving a strong rainy day fund.
Now, more than ever, we must work to send a proven conservative leader like David Dewhurst to Washington, where he can put the Texas approach to work to overhaul Washington.