Tea party favorite Ted Cruz has defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate.
As of 9 pm, with 33 percent of precincts counted, Cruz had received 373,726 votes, or 54.3 percent of the votes cast. Dewhurst received 314,236 votes, or 45.7 percent.
Cruz, 41, is a Harvard-trained attorney who worked in Washington, D.C., for George W. Bush and served as solicitor general for the state of Texas. This was his first run for public office.
Dewhurst, who has been lieutenant governor for nine years, had been aligned with the main stream Republican Party in Texas. He was well known, and considered a sure thing to replace the retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate.
Dewhurst received endorsements from Gov. Rick Perry and backing from many Texas supporters.
But in the May primary, a crowded field left him unable to get more than 50 percent of the votes and led to the runoff.
Cruz gained momentum during the two months between the primary and the runoff and received millions of dollars in support from the anti-tax organization Club for Growth. The Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC also supported Cruz.
According to the New York Times, Cruz "appears likely to become a star of the national conservative movement."
Cruz will face Democrat former state Rep. Paul Sadler of Henderson in November, who received 62.5 percent of the votes over former teacher Grady Yarbrough, who received 37.5 percent of the votes.