The gloves are off, as the race for the vacated Texas Senate seat comes down to its final days.
Dubbed a race between the “Establishment” candidate, David Dewhurst, and the “Tea Party” candidate, Ted Cruz, this election will determine the future of Texas politics.
But before you buy in to the sound bytes and media hype, we will outline the true race and the significance of the outcome.
As you may know, Texas Ranked Number 1 on a list of States with the Best Business Climate, and our economy was least affected by the Obama recession. Because of our political and pro-business environment, businesses across the country are closing their doors, moving to Texas and thriving.
Lt. Governor Dewhurst has been a leader in the state of Texas for the past decade, serving with our dynamic Governor, Rick Perry. He has name recognition and has had a successful record of achievements while in office.
Ted Cruz, the state’s former solicitor general, has been campaigning for years, building his base of volunteers and grassroots activists, a much needed resource critical to overcoming the campaign funds of Dewhurst.
When Cruz began his run for office, Dewhurst was not committed to running for Senate. Instead of facing off with Dewhurst, Cruz faced countless opponents and debated constantly across the state, sharpening his skills.
An accomplished Attorney from Harvard Law School, Cruz represented Texas in Washington — fighting our battles in the courtroom — earning him a reputation for being a relentless defender of Texas sovereignty. He served under the direction of Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott, who is revered by Texans as an honest, God-fearing Conservative.
It was obvious early on that Cruz would seek the endorsement of the Tea Party and that his goal would be to define Dewhurst as a ”Washington insider,” categorizing him as a corrupt RINO, with greedy intentions.
On the other hand, Dewhurst had just completed one of the most Conservative sessions in the Texas Legislature, passing the Sonogram Bill (Pro-Life), and Voter ID Bill, among others. As Lt. Governor, Dewhurst served as the President of the Senate, a position many feel qualifies him to lead as our Senator in Washington.
The Dewhurst strategy was to advance his experience in leadership and hi-light his accomplishments in the Senate. At the same time, they would discredit Cruz by tying his dealings with a Chinese company that defrauded an American business owner, stealing patents and proprietary information. Dewhurst suggests that because Cruz would defend a Chinese company guilty of stealing patents from an American business owner, that he would “sell-out” his values for the right price.
The Cruz campaign has launched aggressive commercials of their own, blasting Dewhurst for killing the Sanctuary Cities Bill presented in the recent legislative session. They claim Dewhurst had the opportunity to present the bill in the Senate, but refused to get involved, a claim Dewhurst flat out denies.
In the end, Texans really don’t know what to believe.
We are left trying to determine who we can trust and who will do the right thing at the right time. We want someone with a proven track-record of legislating, and as much as the Cruz camp would love to say they have that experience, they don’t.
After the recent debates between the two candidates, most people felt Ted Cruz’ passion and eloquent speaking ability propelled him, giving him the lead. Now, Dewhurst makes comments like, “I’m not as good a speaker as my opponent,” suggesting it takes more than being a good speaker to accomplish difficult legislation, as evidenced by the results of President Obama.
A year ago, I visited with Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, along with other Hispanic Republican activists. We talked about immigration and options for dealing with the crisis in Texas. At that time, he said he was in favor of a documentation plan that allowed illegal immigrants to come “out of the shadows” and enroll in a program allowing us to account for them. Not citizenship, but documentation.
Today, his position has changed and he sounds more like the traditional hardliners on the “right,” suggesting illegals self deport and “get back in line in their native country” — as if he never talked to us about his documentation strategy.
His shift is obviously designed to maintain the margins in the polls, which he recently claimed to be an 8 point lead over Cruz. But at whose expense? Who am I to believe? The Dewhurst who was passionate about resolving immigration or the Dewhurst that wants illegal immigrants to self-deport? This may be the winning strategy in the primary, but nationwide, people feel mass deportation is not an option.
In this race it comes down to three key issues: experience, character and leadership.
In my opinion, David Dewhurst has two out of three. Unlike Ted Cruz, Dewhurst has built a business from nothing. He’s led the Senate and has served as our Lt. Governor, making difficult decisions and advancing our conservative state. He does have strong character, but I ding him on that because of his flip-flop on the immigration issue.
Ted Cruz is a solid candidate, but in my opinion, not as qualified or experienced as Dewhurst.
But whoever wins on Tuesday will have the full support of Republicans. We will unite around the winner, no matter what!