Ted Cruz defeats David Dewhurst in Republican run-off

Writer and historian Gore Vidal, who died Tuesday, probably appreciated Texas politics. Vidal’s 'The Best Man' is back on Broadway, and Texas politics are back in the news, big time.

Political newcomer Ted Cruz used the tea party and grass-roots support to upset

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in a run-off election, that was ugly, and vile, and everything you`d expect in a battle for control of the dominant political party in Texas.

In the end, Cruz took 57% of the more than 1.1 million votes cast.

Surrounded by family and supporters, Cruz acknowledged the negative campaign, but called on all Republicans to work for his victory in November:  'In the heat of the campaign, there have been harsh words spoken. But I am hopeful that all of us can put them behind us and work together going forward.'

Cruz supporters said they were hoping for some change, and saw Dewhurst as more of the same-ol` same-ol`.

'We need a fighter in Washington, and Ted Cruz is a fighter. I didn’t see that in David Dewhurst,' said Sherial Lawson.

Although disappointed, some of the Dewhurst supporters saw the bigger picture regarding the large turnout for a run-off election in late July.

Mike Sullivan/Houston City Council Member: 'This is good news,' opined Houston City Councilmember Mike Sullivan. 'These are record levels of voters in a non-traditional run-off in late July. And when you add all those things up, people are not supposed to come out and vote. But the Cruz campaign was able to turn them out. It speaks well for the Republican Party. I think it speaks well for the Tea Party. And it speaks well for people getting engaged. That’s the most important message tonight, that we have new people voting today that haven`t voted before.'

Republicans hope that excitement carries over because Democrat Paul Sadler, who won his run-off, is hoping political lightning strikes twice this year in Texas.