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Leppert faces Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), who has spent much of his own money on the race and led in polls, and Tea Party favorite and former Texas Solicitor General Ted CruzTed CruzWarren builds her brand with 2020 down the road Trump wall faces skepticism on border No Congress members along Mexico border support funding Trump's wall MORE (R). He has trailed both in recent polls. The top two finishers in the state's May 29 primary will compete in a runoff election a month later.

Leppert has some institutional support from around Dallas and has been spending his own money heavily to try to make inroads with the electorate. Jeffress, the head of the powerful Southern Baptist Convention who had backed Rick Perry's presidential campaign, caused a big stir by repeatedly saying that Mormonism was a cult.