Ted Cruz bats for Oklahoma conservative

Greg Nash

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is going to bat for T.W. Shannon, saying the former state Speaker will be a conservative fighter for Oklahoma in the U.S. Senate.

It's a rare entry into GOP primaries this cycle for Cruz, who has only endorsed in two open-seat races — this one and Nebraska’s Senate race, where his preferred candidate, Ben Sasse, won the nomination. 

Shannon is battling Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and a handful of other candidates in a GOP primary for retiring Sen. Tom Coburn's seat.

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“In Oklahoma, there are a number of good Senate candidates, but T.W. Shannon is a conservative fighter,” Cruz says in the ad from the Senate Conservatives Fund.

“He has the courage to look Washington insiders in the eye, and say, ‘I don’t work for you, I work for the people of Oklahoma,’ ” Cruz adds.

The ad starts running Thursday and will air through the Tuesday primary. The group is spending $163,000 on the ads. 

Most polling has shown a tight race, with Lankford holding a varying lead. Shannon’s team has said he sees his most likely opportunity for success if the candidate can force a runoff with Lankford on Tuesday. 

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