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Centrist Republican to primary Ted Cruz's 'extremist posturing'

A challenger from the Left has emerged against U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in the 2018 Republican primary in Texas. Houston-based energy lawyer Stefano de Stefano says he’s running “to take a stand against politics as usual and its misguided poster-child, Ted Cruz."

“The time has come for private citizens to take the government back from the brink — of its greatest threat — a legislature hobbled by extremist posturing from career politicians,” de Stefano said in a statement. “I’m running to bring reason and compromise back into our process and I am willing to sit down with both sides to figure out solutions to our country’s most urgent problems.”

de Stefano graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a B.A. in political science and a minor in economics and earned his law degree from Fordham University College of Law. He says he will demonstrate “a reasonable method of leadership” as opposed to an “extreme one,” the Houston Chronicle reports.

"Texas has had, in effect, only one Senator, as the other has been busy campaigning for President for the past 4 years," de Stefano said. "I won’t sit idly by while Ted continues to live in Ted's own little world, devoid of reality, and chases his second Presidential participation trophy on the backs of my fellow Texans. I will bring back the real-world ability to actually do business."

de Stefano is the first and so far only Republican to declare his candidacy against Cruz. Others have been mentioned as potential establishment-backed candidates, including U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, and political analyst Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign. Both declined to run.

This campaign will be de Stefano’s first foray into politics.

Senator Ted Cruz said in January that he would take the threat of a primary challenge seriously and “prepare accordingly.”

“And if someone does run, we’re going to do what it takes to beat them, and I hope beat them resoundingly,” he said.

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