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Ted Cruz thanks his wife, Heidi, in front of a cheering crowd after he defeated Republican rival, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in a runoff election Tuesday for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the retiring Kay Bailey Hutchison. (Houston Chronicle/Johnny Hanson via Associated Press)

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Former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, once considered a long-shot underdog for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, defeated Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in the party’s Tuesday primary runoff, and the reason appears to be his strong support from state tea-party conservatives. It’s a sign of the movement’s growing national clout. (Associated Press)

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The Club for Growth Action has spent about $5.5 million to try to push tea party insurgent Ted Cruz to victory. The Texas Conservatives Fund, which backs Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, has doled out $5.2 million to attack the tea party favorite. (Associated Press)

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Ted Cruz, a GOP Senate hopeful, talks with his father, Rafael Cruz, as he works at the campaign's phone bank in Houston on Tuesday. Mr. Cruz, a former Texas solicitor general and the son of a Cuban-American immigrant, is banking on getting into a one-on-one runoff with the longtime lieutenant governor. (Associated Press)

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Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican primary candidate for Senate, says of Tuesday's vote: "The stakes could not be higher." (Houston Chronicle via Associated Press)