DALLAS (June 22, 2012)—Two bitter rivals for Texas' Republican U.S. Senate nomination square off Friday in a debate that could shape their runoff election's final 40 days.
Tea party favorite and former state Solicitor General Ted Cruz is a fiery orator and onetime debating champion while Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is the establishment GOP favorite, although he grew up with a stammer and fears about public speaking.
The debate Friday night in Dallas will be the first of two planned before the July 31 runoff.
More may be coming if both sides agree.
Dewhurst won last month's primary by 10 points but didn't capture an outright majority in a nine-candidate field.
His race with Cruz mirrors other campaigns across the country that pit a veteran Republican against a little-known challenger, with both slides claiming to represent conservative values.