This is going to be one of the more interesting Senate primaries in 2012. Already half a dozen Republicans have lined up to replace retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison and I believe that whoever wins this primary will win the general election. That is why this primary matters so much-we have the chance to replace a liberal Republican with a conservative one.
A quick snap shot of the race and how it is already shaping up. Roger Williams, Weatherford car dealer and former Republican Party Victory Director for Texas has been running for this seat for two years now and has millions raised. Although recently endorsed by George H.W. Bush, my guess is that his de facto, “more money in the bank” favorite status will fade as others gain traction.
Elizabeth Ames Jones, former state representative and current Railroad Commissioner, has announced her intention to run for the KBH seat as well, but I think this race boils down to Ted Cruz, former Solicitor General of Texas and Michael Williams, former Railroad Commissioner to decided which conservative will be THE standard bearer in 2012 against current Lt. Governor, David Dewhurst (more on him below).
Called a rising star by the National Review, Cruz is an outspoken defender of federalism and states rights, having established himself as a brilliant legal mind in the conservative community here in Texas and proved last election cycle that he can raise a lot of money.
Michael Williams is best known amongst the tea party circles here in Texas, but has a reputation for not being able to raise money-we’ll see if he can put that reputation to rest this first quarter of 2011.
Looming as the 800lb gorilla in this race is the independently wealthy Lt. Governor, David Dewhurst. There is little doubt he can write himself a $20M check to run and win this seat, but make no mistake-while he will have the chance to hide behind a very conservative 82nd Legislature here in Texas, Dewhurst will be at best a continuation of Kay Bailey Hutchison’s RINO politics.
Keep an eye on this race. For the time being, we like Michael Williams and Ted Cruz and we’ll likely be making a decision soon on which one we’re supporting.
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