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Campaign Chatter

Cruz has a big week. Dewhurst has some big numbers. News from the campaigns around the state.

U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz speaks at the Texas Tea party rally Sunday May 6, 2012 at the Texas Capitol.  Cruz is trailing frontrunner David Dewhurst in the race to replace current Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Ted Cruz got two boosts this week, starting with a $1 million ad campaign on his behalf from the Club for Growth and ending with an endorsement from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

The Super PAC promoting Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's bid for the U.S. Senate released poll results that have their guy at 57 percent — enough to avoid a runoff. They've got Ted Cruz in second, at 16 percent, followed by Tom Leppert, at 12 percent. Another group — Steven Hotze's Conservative Republicans of Texas — has Dewhurst at 51 percent, Cruz at 16 percent and Leppert at 7.

Gov. Rick Perry continued his endorsement tour, blessing House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, in HD-10, J.M. Lozano in HD-43 in South Texas, Craig Goldman in HD-97 in Fort Worth, and Larry Taylor of Friendswood in SD-11.

Attorney General Greg Abbott endorsed Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, in his reelection bid, as did Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. Comptroller Susan Combs endorsed Lozano. Abbott endorsed Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, in his HD-5 reelection bid.

Sen. Chris Harris, R-Arlington, endorsed Rep. Todd Smith, R-Euless, in the race to replace Harris in the Senate. That's the senator's third endorsement: At various times in the last few months — under various redistricting maps — he endorsed former Rep. Toby Goodman and local businessman Vic Vandergriff. Neither ended up running. Rep. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, is on the other side in that race and picked up endorsements from the Tarrant County Republican Club, CLEAT, the North Richland Hills Firefighters and the Arlington Police Association.

Railroad Commission candidate Christi Craddick picked up endorsements from a group of Republican lawmakers that includes Sen. John Carona of Dallas, and Reps. Phil King of Weatherford, Jodie Laubenberg of Parker, Tan Parker of Flower Mound and Ken Paxton of McKinney.

The Texas State Rifle Association's PAC endorsed Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview.

Keith Hampton won the Texas State Bar's Judicial Poll. The Democrat is challenging Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

The Texas Parent PAC endorsed Jason Villalba in the Republican primary in Dallas' HD-114, Amber Fulton in Denton County's HD-106, former San Antonio City Councilman in HD-125, Susan Todd of Fort Worth in HD-97, Bennett Ratliff, R-Coppell, in HD-115, and Roger Fisher, R-Bedford, in HD-92.

Matt Schaefer, who's challenging Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, in HD-6, got an endorsement from Grassroots America, a group headed by local conservative activist JoAnn Fleming.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association PAC endorsed Barry Smitherman, who's running to keep his appointed seat on the Texas Railroad Commission. 

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