SAN ANTONIO – As we head into the home stretch of the 2012 Texas Primary runoff election, the race to claim out-going Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson's seat is getting nasty.
The race is the most expensive in the country this year with more than $37 million dollars spent by Republicans Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst.
At a campaign rally in San Antonio Wednesday night, Cruz characterized the race as a battle for the soul of the Republican party.
"This race has been called ground zero in the national battle between the moderate establishment desperately clinging to power and the conservative tidal wave sweeping this country," Cruz said in an interview prior to the rally held at Sideliner's Grill. "I'm feeling fantastic. The campaign has enormous momentum because we've seen conservatives all over Texas unite behind this campaign."
Cruz said he's running strong with Republican women, the Tea Party movement and grass roots conservatives because they see him as one of them.
"Texans are tired of career politicians in both parties," Cruz told the crowd.
Cruz said if elected to the senate, he'd support term limits for members of congress because he's not interested in being a career politician. He believes senators should be limited to two terms while representatives should only get three terms to get the job done.
While David Dewhurst has called Cruz a Washington insider, Cruz said it's the other way around.
"He is supported by just about every lobbyist in Austin and a great many of the lobbyists in Washington D.C.," Cruz said. "Everyone whose livelihood depends on continuing the government spending gravy train is backing my opponent."
While both camps have attacked each other in ads, Cruz said he's kept his ads issue oriented while Dewhurst has called him a "child killer, traitor and Chinese communist."
"This is a man who spent 15 years in elected office and apparently he can't talk about his own record, he's got to spread attacks and lies instead," Cruz said. "Texans are sick of this. They're sick of politicians who have such a disregard for the truth and think so poorly of the voters they think they can run a bunch of lies on TV and deceive the voters."
Cruz plans to keep highlighting his work as the state solicitor general where he said he stood up for conservative values like defending the ten commandments and the pledge of allegiance.
In the end, he said the race comes down to a choice between the establishment and a new wave of conservatives.
"Can money and the establishment buy this race or is it the people of the state of Texas, because that's our strength the grassroots activists across the the state of Texas," Cruz said.
For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.