The Washington Times - October 13, 2011, 11:51AM

Rep. Ted Poe, Texas Republican, said he doesn’t have a personal “favorite” in the crowded field of GOP hopefuls jockeying to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison next year, but he said his state’s lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst, is the “one to beat.”

“There are, 20, I think, 20 people running in that race,” the four-term congressman joked Thursday on The Washington Times-affiliated “America’s Morning News.”


There are actually nine declared candidates for next March’s GOP primary in Texas — including former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz, a tea-party-backed conservative whom many in Washington are calling the Lone Star State’s version of Sen. Marco Rubio.

“Smoke will clear, and it will probably be about three [in a runoff]. And of course the one to beat is the lieutenant governor, Dewhurst. Cruz may get in the runoff, it may be somebody else, but we’re going to have a lively race in Texas over this seat,” Mr. Poe said.

The 63-year-old Houston-area congressman is a member of the House Judiciary Committee.