Ted Cruz ContactBack to top
Address: 185 DSOB, DC 20510
Phone: (512) 916-5834
Address: 300 East Eighth Street, Austin TX 78701
Phone: (214) 599-8749
Fax: (214) 361-3518
Address: 3626 North Hall Street, Dallas TX 75219
Phone: (713) 718-3057
Fax: (713) 209-3459
Address: 808 Travis Street, Houston TX 77002
Phone: (210) 340-2885
Fax: (210) 349-6753
Address: 3133 General Hundnell Drive, San Antonio TX 78226
Phone: (903) 593-5130
Address: 305 South Broadway Avenue, Tyler TX 75702
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Ted Cruz BiographyBack to top
- Elected: 2012, term expires 2018, 1st term.
- State: Texas
- Born: Dec. 22, 1970, Calgary, Canada
- Home: Houston
Princeton University, B.A., 1992; Harvard, J.D., 1995
- Professional Career:
Clerk, U.S. Appeals Court Judge J. Michael Luttig, 1995; clerk, Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, 1996; lawyer, Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal, 1997-99; domestic policy adviser, Bush-Cheney campaign, 1999-2000; associate deputy U.S. attorney general, 2001; policy-planning office director, Federal Trade Commission, 2001-02; Texas solicitor general, 2003-08; lawyer, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, 2008-12.
- Ethnicity: Hispanic/Latino
- Family: Married (Heidi Cruz); 2 children
Cuban-American Ted Cruz is Texas’ junior senator. His successful bid in 2012 to succeed retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison—which came after he easily dispatched a primary opponent who had the strong backing of Texas’s Republican establishment—was seen as an affirmation of the tea party movement’s power. His victory prompted immediate comparisons to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, another young conservative Latino on the rise.
Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, where his parents worked in the Canadian oil business. His father’s life story figures prominently into Cruz’s political narrative. Rafael Cruz fought to overthrow the Fulgencio Batista regime in Cuba in the 1950s before fleeing to Texas at the age of 18, with nothing more than $100 sewn into his underwear. He worked as a dishwasher for 50 cents an hour to put himself through the University of Texas and ultimately started a business in Houston. There, he met Cruz’s mother, an Irish-American who studied math at Rice University.
As a high school student, Cruz earned scholarship money by entering speech contests organized by the Free Enterprise Institute, in which participants studied the “Ten Pillars of Economic Wisdom,” a libertarian manifesto, and then delivered 20-minute speeches about it. As part of the program, Cruz eventually memorized the Constitution and traveled around Texas discussing conservative ideas. He went on to Princeton, where he was a champion debater. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1995, he clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
After a few years spent with the Washington law firm Cooper, Carvin & Rosenthal, Cruz joined the George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000 as a domestic policy adviser. It was on the campaign trail he met his wife, Heidi Nelson Cruz, another member of the policy team. Both were dispatched to Florida in the chaos of the recount, which then led to jobs in the Bush administration. Cruz served first as associate deputy general at the Justice Department and then as director of the Office of Policy Planning for the Federal Trade Commission.
He returned to Texas in 2003, when he was appointed state solicitor general, making him the first Hispanic to hold the position in Texas. During his five-year tenure, Cruz argued before the U.S. Supreme Court nine times and participated in a number of high-profile cases, including one in which Texas fought to execute a Mexican citizen who raped and murdered two teenage girls and another in which he defended the display of the Ten Commandments on the state Capitol grounds. Cruz in July 2012 told the Texas Tribune, “We ended up, year after year, arguing some of the biggest cases in the country. There was a degree of serendipity in that, but there was also a concerted effort to seek out and lead conservative fights.”
Cruz was in private practice when he decided to run for the Senate. He was expected to be no match for Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who not only had millions of dollars to throw into the race but also the backing of almost every prominent state Republican, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Cruz sank $1 million of his own money into the contest shortly before the primary and held Dewhurst to under 50% of the vote to force a runoff. From there, Cruz attracted the attention of tea party activists and got the backing of such national conservative heavyweights as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, as well as outside groups such as the Club for Growth and Freedom Works.
Dewhurst sought to cast Cruz as a creature of Washington, given his government experience, and suggested that Cruz did not have the state’s best interests in mind. Cruz portrayed Dewhurst as just another moderate Republican. Cruz ultimately trounced Dewhurst, 57% to 43%. He took every major Texas county, piling up margins as high as 73%-27% in west Texas’ El Paso County. In Houston’s Harris County, the state’s largest, he won 64%-36%. From there, he had little trouble beating his opponent in the general election, Democrat Paul Sadler, a lawyer from Henderson and a former Texas House member, 56%-41%.
Cruz immediately established himself during his early months in office as a strong intellectual voice for the far right in the Senate, following in the iconoclastic mold of Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky, who became a frequent ally. Summarizing what he would do to enact a conservative agenda, Cruz told National Review, “What it takes is backbone, the willingness to stand and fight for those principles in the face of opposition and derision. Of those who have firm principles, even fewer have the backbones to stand for those principles when the heat is on.”
Cruz won ecstatic reviews from conservative activists for his aggressiveness on issues ranging from Obama administration nominees to foreign policy. But his hyper-confident style won him few friends among his new Democratic colleagues. When he reviewed the origins of the Bill of Rights to California Democrat Dianne Feinstein at a Judiciary Committee hearing in March, she snapped, “It’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know that I’ve been here a long time.” After he used his initial Senate floor speech to lambast the new health care law, Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin chastized him for continuing the conservative “obsession” with the issue. Even Arizona Republican John McCain, complaining about Cruz’s assisting Paul during the Kentucky senator’s 13-hour talking filibuster, referred to the senators as “wacko birds.”
But Cruz didn’t seem to care. At a conservative awards dinner, he joked, “It is wonderful to be among friends or, as some might say, fellow wacko birds.” A Texas Tribune poll in March showed his favorability rating back home at 39%, 7 percentage points higher than that of his Texas GOP colleague John Cornyn.Show Less