Does U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz still have the golden touch?

Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas
Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas NYT

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, isn’t in the race for the White House anymore, but his approval still carries weight.

His latest round of endorsements for candidates in the recent Arizona and Florida primaries seems to show he still has the touch.

Here’s a look at his recent scorecard:

Wins: In Arizona, Rep. Paul Gosar, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, beat back an establishment challenger, as did State Sen. Steve Montenegro. And in Florida, Cruz endorsed his presidential primary rival, Sen. Marco Rubio, who won the primary for his seat after recently entering the race. And Arizona state Senate President Andy Biggs took a slight lead in a close race for an open Congress seat in the state’s 4th district over former Go Daddy executive Christine Jones, although a recount is expected.

Losses: A would-be Cruz protégé, former U.S. Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, finished a distant third for Congress in a southwestern district that includes Naples.

School days

Former state Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington, said it has been an experience like none other having a school named for her — the Diane Patrick Elementary School in Arlington — open for business.

“The best part about having a school named for me is that I’m not dead yet,” she said recently during a recent legislative forum put on by the United Way and its Area Agency on Aging.

More than that, she feels she has a new extended family. “I have 800 new grandchildren,” she said with a grin.

Tough gig

U.S. Rep. Bill Flores, R-Bryan and chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, will give up the position — which is only for one congressional term — in November.

Already there is a furious debate among conservatives about who will be the next chair and whether some even want to belong to the group. The RSC, made up of most GOP conservatives, is not an official congressional committee but is influential.

Several members of a rival group — the Freedom Caucus, made up of about 40 of the most conservative GOP members — are talking about quitting the RSC. Until now, members in the Freedom Caucus have also belonged to the larger group.

However, another Freedom Caucus member, Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland is looking at running for chairman. Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina is also considering putting his name in for chairman.

Texas judicial nominees

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, announced that he will chair a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday to consider the nominations of five people to be judges in Texas.

Cornyn and Cruz recommended the nominees to the White House after they were screened by a panel set up by the senators. The nominees are:

James Wesley Hendrix for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Judge Walter David Counts III for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Judge E. Scott Frost for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and Karen Gren Scholer for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.


Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley