The year is 2012- it is time for the United States to either re-elect its current president, or to elect a new one. Citizens from far abound have the opportunity to take part in this year’s election, to make a difference in America, to have their opinion heard. The presidential election, however, is not the only area of resonance for attention. Texans shall also be preparing for their votes of the next United States Senator, representing our lone-star state, replacing the soon-to-retire Kay Bailey Hutchinson. What does a U.S. Senator do? Who are the candidates for Texas? How about their backgrounds and goals? After tedious efforts to read-up on the race, watch debates, and scrambling to learn just a little bit about politics, we are going to attempt to answer these questions. Let us take a look.
The United States Senate is comprised of 100 senators, two senators representing each of the 50 states. “The constitution prescribes that ... a senator must be at least thirty years of age, have been a citizen of the United States for nine years, and, when elected, be a resident of the state from which he or she is chosen. A senator’s term of office is six years and approximately one-third of the total membership of the Senate is elected every two years” (The U.S. Senate). Senators have the responsibility to make the best decisions representative of our state; they are our voice. Our race this year is between the republican, Ted Cruz, who won the nominee over Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, and the democrat, Paul Sadler, whose nomination was won over Grady Yarbrough.
Our republican candidate, Ted Cruz, real name actually Rafael, was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and raised in Houston, Texas. He currently resides there with his wife, Heidi, and their two daughters: three year old Caroline, and newborn Catherine (Cruz for Senate). Cruz has high hopes for America; for a less- government run America. In a statement to the Tyler Morning Telegraph, Cruz shared these hopes:
We need to rediscover the leadership embodied by President Ronald Reagan, and the values that have kept our nation strong, including faith, family, limited government, individual responsibility, and expanding opportunity for every American. We need a new generation of leaders committed to making a difference, not simply staying in office. We need to inspire young people and old people and all people that America has always been and must continue to be a ‘shining city on a hill,’ a land of hope and opportunity built upon rule of law.” (Editorials)
Cruz attributes his feelings and beliefs for our country to his parents. His father was a Cuban immigrant who escaped to Austin, Texas in 1957 as a teenager, after being “…imprisoned, tortured, and beaten…” there (Cruz). When he arrived in the states, he could not speak our native language [English] and had nothing more than a mere one-hundred dollars in his possession. He provided his own way through his education at The University of Texas (Cruz for Senate), working as a dish-washer who made only fifty cents on the hour. He started a “small business in the oil and gas industry” (Cruz), teaching his son the value of hard work and education. Cruz’s mother, who was Irish and Italian- mixed, was the first member of her family to attend an institution of higher education. She obtained a degree in math in the 1950s from Rice University, becoming a “pioneering mathematician and computer programmer” (Cruz), while working her summer’s at Foley’s and Shell (Cruz for Senate). The insights and life lessons they provided for their son, their experiences, achievements, and accomplishments set a superb example. On his website for the senate run, Cruz contends, “From them, I learned that America has always been the land of opportunity, a beacon of freedom and hope for the world” (Cruz for Senate). Cruz feels strongly that these kinds of experiences should be allowed, or presented, for everyone. He