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Tea party cleans up in Texas runoffs - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Tea party cleans up in Texas runoffs

Posted:
By CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser

(CNN) -- They've been few and far between this primary season, but the tea party racked up high-profile victories on Tuesday in runoff elections in Texas.

The grassroots conservative movement scored one of its biggest wins in the last election cycle in Texas, when the candidate it was backing in the Senate GOP runoff, Ted Cruz, defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

Tea party beats Dewhurst again

Thanks in part to support from Cruz, the tea party remains alive and well in the Lone Star State, and two years later, Dewhurst was defeated again, this time by state Sen. Dan Patrick.

Patrick, a talk radio host and former Houston sportscaster and bar owner, bested Dewhurst in the runoff for lieutenant governor, CNN projects.

Patrick was considered the favorite going into the race. In the March primary, Patrick brought in 41% of the vote, 13 percentage points ahead of Dewhurst, who poured in millions of his own money into the campaign.

Patrick, who helped found the tea party caucus in the Texas legislature, has appealed to conservatives in part with his hardline stance on illegal immigration.

Patrick will go on to face Democratic nominee Leticia Van de Putte in November. She's a long time state lawmaker and practicing pharmacist.

Paxton bests Branch for attorney general

In another statewide race, Texas state Sen. Ken Paxton beat veteran state Rep. Dan Branch in the GOP primary for attorney general, CNN projects.

Paxton, who was praised by Cruz, hopes to succeed Greg Abbott, the party's nominee for governor.

"Texas remains a red state with Mitt Romney winning by double digits in 2012. What Ted Cruz proved is that if you run a strong enough race, you can win statewide as a grassroots conservative, even when you are outspent," said Texas-based Republican consultant Matt Mackowiak, who runs the political blog MustReadTexas.com.

Mackowiak, also a consultant for former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe, noted the net result of this year's elections is that Texas "will be more conservative in the State House and Senate and among statewide elected officials."

Hall loses to anti-establishment candidate

Rep. Ralph Hall, the oldest elected official in Washington, his runoff battle, making the 91-year-old Republican the first incumbent member of Congress to go down in defeat this primary season.

CNN projects former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe, an anti-establishment candidate, will beat Hall in the GOP contest for Texas' 4th Congressional District, which is located in the northeastern portion of the state.

Hall was first elected to the House in 1980 and was vying for an 18th term.

Alameel to face Cornyn

CNN projects Dallas dental mogul David Alameel has won the Democratic Senate primary runoff in Texas.

He defeated Kesha Rogers - who calls for President Barack Obama's impeachment and is a supporter of gadfly extremist and perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche.

Alameel faces an uphill battle against incumbent John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, considered the overwhelming favorite, in the general election.

Cornyn's campaign immediately released a statement slamming Alameel ahead of November's general election.

Alameel, the Republican incumbent's campaign said, is too liberal for Texas.

"And no matter how many big checks David Alameel writes to his own campaign, this seat belongs to the people of Texas and this election will not be bought.

CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
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