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Texas Tea Party Flexes Political Muscle In State Primary

NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - Analysts say despite persistent attacks against it, the Tea Party here in Texas flexed its political muscle in the state primary Tuesday.

While Tea Party candidates didn't win every race, they did send a strong message to moderate Republicans and their willingness to fight against President Obama's policies.

Ken Emanuelson, a Dallas Tea Party member said, "I'm ecstatic.  Based on last night's election, I'd say the Tea Party's never been stronger."

Tea Party-backed Dan Patrick surprised many analysts after soaring to the top in the four-man Republican primary for Lt. Governor -- leaving veteran incumbent David Dewhurst a distant second.

Dewhurst faces another runoff May 27, after losing one two years ago, when another Tea Party favorite, Ted Cruz beat him and eventually won the U.S. Senate seat.

In the Texas Attorney General's race, Tea Party-backed Ken Paxton came in ahead of Dan Branch. These two will also head to a run-off.

In a stunning defeat, Tea Party-supported Don Huffines beat incumbent John Carona in what became a bitter battle for a Dallas State Senate seat.

Political analyst John Weekley says moderate Republicans should be on notice if they don't fight President Obama's policies aggressively enough. "This is the shot heard around the state.  I think they can consider themselves facing some trouble unless they make changes."

Follow Jack on Twitter:  @cbs11jack

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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