Texas US Senate Debate Jan 12 w/ Cruz, Dewhurst, James, Addison & Leppert. Cruz #1 in Fundraising So Far

Finally! The top three Texas US Senate Candidates will be in the same room together for a candidate debate!

On Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 7 p.m., Empower Texans and the Texas Public Policy Foundation will co-host the first debate of the Texas Republican US Senate candidates of 2012! You can watch the debate live by going to http://www.empowertexans.com/

Confirmed participants are: Glenn Addison, Ted Cruz, David Dewhurst, Craig James and Tom Leppert. They are trying to take over the Texas US Senate seat that will be open thanks to Senator Kay Baily Hutchinson retiring.

Thus far, the two candidates who seem to be in the lead (and getting all the attention) are Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst.

David Dewhurst is the Lieutenant Governor of Texas and is extremely wealthy. He is the leader of the Texas State Senate. He has name recognition and money to easily fuel his campaign. Ted Cruz is the former Solicitor General for Texas. He does not have much name recognition or money, but he is the Tea Party darling and has garnered impressive endorsements from big conservative Republicans and conservative organizations (such as Club for Growth, National Review, YCT, Red State, Dr. James Dobson, Senator Jim DeMint, Senator Rand Paul, George Will, David Barton, etc.) His big draw is that he is seen as a fresh face, and he has actually argued for his conservative principles in front of the Supreme Court and won (defeating Obama in one case).

Cruz and Dewhurst have Drawn Most of the Attention in this Race

It is only logical that Texans want to see these two debate each other on the issues. Surprisingly, there have been no debates between the candidates so far. Ted Cruz has offered to have debates, but so far David Dewhurst has not accepted. David Dewhurst probably has hoped that he could rely on his name recognition to keep him in the lead without having to debate Ted Cruz. I can’t say that I blame him because Cruz has debated in front of the Supreme Court and is a very good speaker. It probably was a good strategy on the part of Dewhurst, but it was a strategy that could only work as long as Ted Cruz was not a major threat.

Surprisingly though (or not surprisingly), Ted Cruz has been rocketing up the polls, has been fundraising well, and has been getting big conservative endorsements every week. Now that Cruz is no longer a long shot, and he is at the top of the Senate race with Dewhurst, people want to see a debate.

Bloggers from all over Texas have demanded to see the two top senate candidates in a debate with each other. Big conservative organizations like King Street Patriots and the Grassroots Texans Network have offered to put on the debate. David Dewhurst has even taken some heat from Texas newspapers like the San Antonio Express News for not scheduling a debate with Cruz.

Debate will be held at 7 p.m. on January 12, 2012, at the Downtown Austin Hilton

The people of Texas will finally get what they want. They get a debate between Cruz and Dewhurst.

That is not all they get though.

There are other candidates in this US Senate race too, even though Cruz and Dewhurst have stolen the spotlight.

I personally am voting for Ted Cruz, but I certainly want to be fair and list all the candidates in the race. It is also important to note that I am not voting against any candidate. For instance, just because I personally support Cruz over Dewhurst does not mean I dislike Dewhurst. I just think that, out of all the good guys, Cruz is the best conservative guy for the job, he has won in the US Supreme Court, and he is a fresh face.

The Other Texas US Senate Candidates:

Craig James (no website?) just recently joined the US Senate race. James has some name and face recognition because he has been working for ESPN and is seen on TV regularly by anyone who watches ESPN. James certainly makes the race more interesting, but he has a lot of catching up to do.

Glenn Addison is from Magnolia, TX. He owns a funeral home business. He is a pretty nice guy but he has not gained much traction and does not have much money.

Lela Pittenger is a very nice, Christian conservative but she has not gained any traction and does not have much money.

Tom Leppert is a former mayor of Dallas. He certainly has great name recognition in that part of Texas. He also has lots of personal money to spend on his campaign. He certainly has the potential to be one of the top candidates but he has just not been able to get the attention like Cruz and Dewhurst.

April 3rd, 2012 Election

The 2012 Republican Primary Election will decide who wins out of these 5 gentlemen and one woman. This Primary Election will be on April 3rd, 2012. The Supreme Court could change that date though. It has already been pushed back to April from March because of a couple activist judges and a big Texas Redistricting mess. One of the Federal Judges in this Redistricting Battle is Brother in Law of Texas Democrat Senate Caucus Chairman. Is that crazy or what?

With half a dozen candidates in this US Senate race, it is unlikely that any one candidate will get a majority of the vote. There will likely be a runoff election between the two top vote getters.

Ted Cruz is Leading in Fundraising/Individual Contributions and Social Media

Below are the fundraising totals for the top 3 candidates, as of the last Campaign Finance Reports that have been posted on the Federal Election Commission’s website. I have also posted some interesting social media info about Cruz and Dewhurst.

As you can see below, Cruz is the fundraising leader and has received the most individual contributions. Leppert and Dewhurst are close behind though. What is most interesting about these fundraising totals is that Cruz has raised all this money with very little money to start with. Dewhurst and Leppert each put 2 million dollars or more of their own money into their campaign in the form of candidate loans. Cruz has only loaned his campaign $70,000 of his own money. This would indicate that Cruz has a significant amount of grassroots support and his name is really getting circulated around Texas.

It is also interesting to see that Cruz has really dominated the social media. He has significantly more friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter than any other candidate so far.

Ted Cruz
Individual Contributions: $2,753,833
Candidates Loans: $70,000
Unique Donors/Contributors: 2,217
Facebook Friends/Fans: 68,740
Twitter Followers: 18,048

David Dewhurst
Individual Contributions: $2,456,934
Candidates Loans: $2,000,000
Unique Donors/Contributors: 1,157
Facebook Friends/Fans: 25,393
Twitter Followers: 5,702

Tom Leppert
Individual Contributions: $2,462,297
Candidates Loans: $2,600,000
Unique Donors/Contributors: 1,681


We (GCRW) held a forum on April 30, 2011 in Dallas at the former home of Clint Murchison, founder of the Dallas Cowboys.  Texas GOP Vote covered it here:  http://www.texasgopvote.com/2012-primary-elections/golden-corridor-repub... We had every candidate EXCEPT the Lt. Gov. and Glenn Addison (who had a prior commitment). 

At that time, Dewhurst was not officially declared, but we all knew he was running.  As a voter, I was not going to make demands about his participation until after he was declared and after the 82nd Legislature concluded... but I'm surprised it's taken so long to get all of the top candidates in the same room. 

I know that there have even been some forums that have had a milk carton sitting in the chair that was reserved for Dewhurst labeled "Missing... Have You Seen Me?" with his photo, etc.  Glad that he's finally joined the discussion...

Wish I could be there - but hope to watch the debate online!

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