Tuesday night a televised debate was held in Dallas between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst, the two Republican candidates running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison. The primary run-off election day is July 31 and early voting begins Monday and goes through the week.
There are two more meetings feature the two together, that I know of anyway. A debate will be held on Monday, July 23, sponsored by King Street Patriots and Fox 26. And, I will be attending the evening event hosted by Village Republican Women on Tuesday, July 24.
To say that most people are ready for this race to be over is an understatement.
After the debate Tuesday night, the predictable happened. Both campaigns sent out emails claiming victory. Also, the Dewhurst campaign announced the endorsement of former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, who was the number three finisher in the primary election held on May 29. My opinion on that move is that it is from a campaign feeling the heat. Dewhurst is looking frazzled and somewhat desperate at this point.
An interesting article was written by a moderate-leaning author in the Dallas Morning News. He points out what many others have stated after the debate - Dewhurst is trying to out-conservative Ted Cruz and ends up looking inept. It is a good piece and worth reading. The man is a Dewhurst supporter and clearly does not want Ted Cruz to be the next senator from Texas. Here is the interesting part of the article:
But it was frustrating last night watching him contort himself into something that he is not. On the issue of immigration, for example, Dewhurst ran away from his previous support for a guest worker program. That was one of several examples where it seemed like he was trying to twist himself into a right-wing knot, all so he could outmaneuver Cruz in their July 31 runoff.
I found myself wanting Dewhurst to come out swinging and defend his work as lieutenant governor. On the issue of taxes and school funding, for example, I wished he had challenged Cruz and asked whether he thought the state should have ignored the Texas Supreme Court and not found a better way to fund schools?
Instead, Cruz trapped Dewhurst into a debate over whether or not the lieutenant governor had favored a payroll tax to fund schools. Dewhurst spent much of his time explaining that he didn’t favor that tax, when he should focused on the larger point: The Texas Supreme Court had declared the Legislature must find a more constitutional way to fund schools, Dewhurst got involved in helping find an answer alongside other Republicans, and the answer they came up with was a new business tax along with a substantial local property tax cut.
In other words, Dewhurst had a chance to explain how his work as lieutenant governor had been good for Texas and why it has prepared him for the U.S. Senate. But Cruz, ever the skilled debater, rope-a-doped him.
As a result, Cruz came away looking like a guy who knows what he believes, while Dewhurst looked painfully contorted. This leads me back to what I’ve written about in previous posts, and that is I wish center-right Republicans like Dewhurst would just defend their ground, and not try to out-conservative hard-righters like Cruz.
The divide between the two campaigns and their supporters has been evident for some time now. Cruz is portrayed as a Tea Party right wing extremist nut job with a short temper and stubborn streak. Dewhurst is portrayed as a squishy moderate who will work with the other side and therefore appease the Democrats. Needless to say, media types are supportive of Dewhurst.
I think it comes down to this: do you want someone who will shake things up and challenge others to stand firm or do you want a standard Republican who is looking to take the next step in his career? Do you want fresh blood or do you want a good guy who will enjoy being a part of the club?
It's not personal for me. I think both men are good people and both men have served Texas in admirable ways. For me, it is more long term planning. I want someone who will shake it up and demand that senators do their job. I want someone who knows who he is, not someone who will bend a bit too far out of his own skin to fit in.
I support Ted Cruz.