Republicans in Senate Race Debate Tonight
Top Republican candidates vying to fill Kay Bailey Hutchison’s Senate seat will meet in Dallas for a televised debate tonight.
The debate will feature Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz, former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert and former SMU football star and ESPN commentator Craig James. Hutchison is retiring at the end of this term.
Jim Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at UT Austin, says this is the first time the Senate race has taken the full spotlight. It’s been overshadowed by the struggle to set a primary date and by the GOP presidential nomination.
“We don’t really know what’s going on in the undercard, if you will,” Henson said. “We know that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is the heavily favored candidate in the race, but we’re also trying to figure out what is happening with Ted Cruz and Tom Leppert.”
Henson says Cruz, Leppert and James are hoping to limit Dewhurst to less than 50 percent of the popular vote. That would force a runoff between the top two vote getters.
The GOP primary is May 29. Early voting starts May 14.