Texas: Michael Burgess Backs Ted Cruz for Senate

Rep. Michael Burgess made an endorsement in the Texas Senate runoff today even though most Members are sitting on the sidelines. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) announced today that he is backing former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz in the GOP Senate runoff to replace retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R).

"Ted Cruz is that strong, proven conservative leader, a constitutional scholar, and a fighter through and through," Burgess said in a press release. "He’ll lead the fight to stop the Obama agenda, and I look forward to fighting alongside Ted to repeal every word of ObamaCare."

Cruz is engaged in an increasingly tough runoff campaign with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. The winner of that July 31 race will almost certainly become the Lone Star State's next Senator.

As the Dallas Morning News noted in mid-June, Rep. Ron Paul is the only other Texas delegation Member who has endorsed in the runoff. He is also backing Cruz.

But generally, Lone Star State House Members are steering clear of getting involved.

"A lot of people got burned during the Perry/Hutchison fight. And that is still very fresh in their minds," emailed one Texas Republican strategist who is familiar with delegation politics. "But I think mostly it's for the obvious reason that you will have to work with the winner."

The Burgess nod is an interesting development. His pick during the primary was former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert.

Leppert, who did not make the runoff, was portrayed by his opponents as the more moderate GOP candidate. Cruz has been a favorite of the tea party and has the backing of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and other tea-party-aligned politicians.