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In East Texas Runoff, Cruz Makes Final Pitch for Hughes

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is making a rare foray into a state-level contest, helping to make the closing argument for Bryan Hughes in his race against David Simpson for the Texas Senate.

Former presidential candidate and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz speaks at the state Republican convention in Dallas, Texas on May 14, 2…

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is making a rare foray into a state-level race, helping to make the closing argument for Bryan Hughes in his bid for the Texas Senate.

The former presidential candidate has recorded a call urging voters to cast ballots for Hughes in the Tuesday runoff for Senate District 1, where Hughes is vying with fellow state Rep. David Simpson to replace retiring Sen. Kevin Eltife of Tyler. 

"Bryan Hughes is a conservative fighter we can count on," Cruz says in the 30-second call, which was obtained by The Texas Tribune. "He's filed legislation to kick Obamacare out of Texas, and he is the only candidate in this race that voted for Gov. [Greg] Abbott's plan to double border security."

Cruz has largely stayed out of legislative primaries and other contests at the state level this cycle. He has long been viewed as supportive of Hughes in the race to replace Eltife, though the call marks his first formal effort to boost Hughes. 

Hughes was among the first state lawmakers to endorse Cruz for president, doing so at a rally for Cruz in September in Tyler. Simpson ended up never formally supporting Cruz's bid for the White House.

Simpson did not immediately return a request for comment. 

Here's the full script of the call:

"This is Ted Cruz, and I'm calling to ask you to please vote for Bryan Hughes in the runoff election for Texas Senate. Bryan needs your vote, and tomorrow is your last chance. Bryan Hughes is a conservative fighter we can count on. He's filed legislation to kick Obamacare out of Texas, and he is the only candidate in this race that voted for Gov. Abbott's plan to double border security. This is Ted Cruz asking you to please vote tomorrow for Bryan Hughes for the Texas Senate."

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