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Cruz backs Glenn Youngkin in Virginia GOP gubernatorial primary

Cruz backs Glenn Youngkin in Virginia GOP gubernatorial primary
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzYang: Those who thought tweet in support of Israel was 'overly simplistic' are correct CNN asks Carol Baskin to comment on loose Texas tiger Republicans have dumped Reagan for Trump MORE (R-Texas) formally threw his support behind Republican Glenn Youngkin in the Virginia gubernatorial race less than a week before the commonwealth's GOP convention. 

“Glenn is the best chance Republicans have of winning in Virginia this year,” Cruz said in a video message released on Sunday.

The Texas senator referred to Youngkin as a political outsider in the video, highlighting the Republican's past work in the business sector as a private equity CEO.

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"He's a successful business leader. He's managed hundreds of billions of dollars in assets. He's done business deals all over the world, and he's taken a strong stand against China," he said. "He knows how to build businesses and to create jobs." 

The endorsement comes ahead of Saturday's Republican nominating convention, where a record 53,000 delegates will cast ballots. The contest is ranked choice, requiring candidates to get a majority of votes to win. 

Youngkin is one of the seven Republicans running in the contest. On Saturday he will face entrepreneur Pete Snyder, state Sen. Amanda Chase, Del. Kirk Cox, former think thank leader Peter Doran and retired Army Col. Sergio de la Peña. 

The winner of the GOP convention could face an uphill climb in the state that has trended toward Democrats in recent years. Former Gov. Bob McDonnell was the last Republican to serve as Virginia's governor, leaving office at the beginning of 2014.

The Democratic primary is slated for June 8.