Changes are far more likely in Austin. Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who lost to Cruz in the U.S. Senate race in 2012, appears headed for his first runoff in 11 years for the state's No. 2 job, which doubles as the state Senate president and exerts considerably more influence than elsewhere in setting the legislative agenda. The race has been the nastiest and most competitive this primary season.
Marian Price, 56, said that race brought her out to cast a Republican ballot in Dallas. The legal secretary said she would vote for Dewhurst's "centrist" approach, but criticized all four lieutenant governor candidates for their response to the case of a pregnant, brain-dead Texas woman whose family fought in court to have her taken off life support.
The candidates argued state law needed to be modified to keep the woman alive and ensure her fetus survived. Price said they were promoting unnecessary government intrusion into private decisions, one example of how she said the tea party is pushing Republicans too far.
"I'm not voting for anyone Ted Cruz supports," said Price, saying she now considers herself more of an independent.
Illinois holds the nation's next primary March 18, followed by a flood of state primaries in May and June.
Associated Press writers Will Weissert in Austin, Juan Carlos Llorca in El Paso and Betsy Blaney in Lubbock contributed to this report.
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