US Senate debate could shape campaign’s final days

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by AP News

khou.com

Posted on June 22, 2012 at 8:24 PM

DALLAS -- Bitter rivals for Texas’ Republican U.S. Senate nomination are set to square off 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. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is the establishment GOP favorite but grew up with a stammer and fears about public speaking.

Friday’s debate 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 percentage points but didn’t capture an outright majority in a nine-candidate field. His race with Cruz mirrors campaigns across the country that pit veteran Republicans against little-known challengers, with both sides claiming to represent conservative values.

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