Tea party favorite Ted Cruz has defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate.
Cruz had received 631,316 votes, or 56.79 percent of the votes cast. Dewhurst received 480,165 votes, or 43.20 percent. In Jefferson County, Cruz garnered 3,987 votes, or 58.77 percent of the votes. Dewhurst earned 2,796 votes, or 41.22 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. He was also a favorite of the Tea Party movement. The Club for Growth alone poured more than five million dollars into Cruz's campaign.
According to the New York Times, Cruz "appears likely to become a star of the national conservative movement."
Hutchison said that Cruz's victory is an "early indicator of the national mood."
"Voters are seeking conservative alternatives to what they see as over encroachment by the federal government, whether it be in terms of the massive new healthcare law, or job-killing overregulation," Hutchison said.
Cruz will face Democrat former state Rep. Paul Sadler of Henderson in November, who received 63.08 percent of the votes over former teacher Grady Yarbrough, who received 36.91 percent of the votes. Jefferson County voters supported Sadler with 71.93 percent of the 1,443 total votes cast.