Cruz welcomes debates with runoff rival Dewhurst



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Posted on May 30, 2012 at 2:48 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 30 at 6:25 PM

HOUSTON – Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Ted Cruz has a wide vote gap to close in the next two months before meeting Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in a runoff election to fill Kay Bailey Hutchison’s seat.

Cruz spoke with reporters from the empty stage in Houston where he declared victory Tuesday night during the primary.

Dewhurst earned 44 percent of the vote while Cruz came in second with 34 percent, according to official results from the Texas Secretary of State.

Cruz said he has been in the underdog before against Dewhurst.

He had universal name ID but when we started we had two percent, Cruz said.

The 41-year-old Houston attorney told News 8 that he would accept support from other candidates but when pressed about whether he would reach out to former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert for an endorsement, Cruz did not say.

Leppert finished third earning 13 percent of the vote.

Dewhurst has significantly more money than Cruz.

But Cruz said he was heartened to hear that Dewhurst has accepted his challenge to at least five debates in the next two months. Dewhurst said he would only attend ones organized by television stations.

“If he wants to up the ante I welcome it,” Cruz said.

In less than 24 hours since getting a runoff spot, Cruz said his campaign has already received numerous on-line donations.

Still, he has an uphill climb to find money and votes before the run-off election in 62 days.