From: Roll Call
The Texas Republican establishment on Sunday came out hard against former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz (R) in his upstart Senate bid.
Nearly every state Senator signed an open letter addressed to “Fellow Texans” that offered a defense of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is running against Cruz in a July 31 GOP primary runoff to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R).
The letter never once mentions Cruz by name. But it makes clear the state Senators’ displeasure with statements he has made on sanctuary cities, state spending, the state’s Transportation Security Administration “Anti-Groping” bill and a state income tax.
Eighteen of 19 Republican state Senators wrote that statements “have been made that are untrue regarding the records of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, the Republican Texas Senators, as well as Governor Rick Perry.”
Part of the political context of the Senators’ defense of Dewhurst is that in his duties as lieutenant governor, he also serves as the president of the Texas Senate. Any criticism leveled at his record could also be interpreted as a knock on the records of each of these state Senators who have worked with him over the years to move legislation.
The one state Senator who did not sign the letter was Brian Birdwell. He opted out, citing a previous commitment to neutrality in the race.
The Republican federal delegation has been much more silent about the race. So far, only Reps. Michael Burgess and Ron Paul have entered the fray. Both have endorsed Cruz.
The winner of the runoff will most likely be the next Senator from Texas. Roll Call rates this race as Safe Republican.
UPDATE: Cruz has personally responded to the letter on his website.
In his “Open Letter to David Dewhurst,” Cruz twice accused the lieutenant governor of “hiding behind” supporters. He then point by point countered the issues the state Senators addressed in their letter.