Cruz, Dewhurst set for debate showdown

June 22, 2012 8:49:03 AM PDT
The stage is set for a showdown between the two men who want to represent you in Congress. The battle for Kay Bailey Hutchison's old U.S. Senate seat is now down to a runoff.

We are a little more than six weeks from election day. That is, runoff election day. And the highest profile of those runoffs is the race to fill the Senate seat left open by Hutchison. Friday night is the first time a television audience will see the men who want the Republican nomination fight each other for it.

The race for the Republican Senate nomination is down to just two men with a lot at stake. Attorney Ted Cruz has invested the last year and a half of his life running for the office. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has poured in at least $10 million of his own money. Both will face off in their first runoff debate on Friday night. And Dewhurst says he'll be the one to benefit.

"I know the issues as well or better than my opponent. I understand state government. I'm a businessman. Always have been, always will be," said Dewhurst.

Cruz says the one-on-one debate will further emphasize to grass roots voters that he's the one with their best interests in mind.

"We saw grassroots activists all over the state come together and unite and stand up. And I think voters are fed up with the same tired establishment incumbents," said Cruz.

Dewhurst was the top vote getter on primary day. But failing to get 50 percent of the vote, he fell into the runoff with the upstart Cruz. Both of them admit this is a race to the right, as they contend it should be.

"These debates are about answering the questions from the people, about defending your record, about cutting through the campaign rhetoric," Cruz said.

"I'll debate my opponent any day that we've got a TV station that's willing to sponsor it," Dewhurst said.

The runoff winner will face the victor of the Democratic primary runoff between Paul Sadler and Grady Yarborough. They debate in Dallas on Tuesday.


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