60ºF

In `mentor' Abbott, Cruz gains strong Texas ally

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz worked under Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for nearly six years

photo

SAN ANTONIO – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz worked under Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for nearly six years as state solicitor general and considers him a "close friend and mentor."

He'll gain a powerful ally in the Texas Capitol soon, since Abbott seems poised to be elected governor on Tuesday.

Having a friend in such a high place back home is a relatively rare commodity for Cruz, who became a national tea party superstar by challenging the Republican mainstream in Washington and Texas.

But Cruz and Abbott insisted in interviews with The Associated Press that being co-owners of the Texas political spotlight won't fray their friendship.

They say it'll hold up even if Abbott moves to the center to govern while Cruz energizes the conservative base ahead of a possible 2016 presidential run.