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Texas GOP Senate primary draws Palin, Perry in final stretch

July 30, 2012|By Lisa Mascaro
  • Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin stands with her husband Todd and Ted Cruz, Texas candidate for the U.S. Senate, and his wife Heidi in The Woodlands, Texas.
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin stands with her husband Todd and Ted… (Johnny Hanson / AP Photo/Houston…)

Sarah Palin rolled into the Lone Star State to rally for Ted Cruz, while Gov. Rick Perry has saddled up for David Dewhurst.

The final days of the Texas GOP Senate primary are proving to be brutal ones, as the two Republican candidates bring on big-name surrogates and ground-game volunteers to tip the vote for Tuesday’s outcome.

Polls have been mixed, but Cruz, the conservative tea party favorite, appears to be gaining momentum over Dewhurst, the establishment-favored Texas lieutenant general.

Nationwide, the race is on for control of the Senate, as the GOP tries to wrest the majority from Democrats. The Texas Senate seat is widely expected to remain in the GOP column, likely making the primary winner the state’s next U.S. senator.

The choice, then, is which Republican Texans will send to Washington: The tea party-backed Cruz, who is a former solicitor general, or Dewhurst, the lieutenant governor since 2003 who was forced into a runoff earlier this year when he failed to reach the 50% threshold needed to grab the nomination.

Palin and other conservatives, including Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), who is backing Cruz, dropped into Texas for a weekend rally. While in the state, Palin stopped at a Chick-fil-A restaurant, tweeting a photo of her support of the business that has become the focus of public debate after the company's president was quoted affirming his opposition to gay marriage.

Dewhurst made his own Chick-fil-A stop on Monday in Austin and will have Perry at his side at an event with veterans in San Antonio.

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lisa.mascaro@latimes.com

Twitter: @LisaMascaroinDC

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