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In Texas, how conservative is enough?

Associated Press Modified: May 3, 2012 at 1:31 am •  Published: May 3, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — After a decade of building a solidly Republican resume, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is finding it more difficult than expected to make the next step to higher political office.

The man considered the likely choice to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison finds himself under attack in the Republican primary.

Dewhurst is fending off criticism that he's not conservative enough despite a record of restricting abortion, cutting spending and advancing other conservative policies in the Legislature.

His top challenger, former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz, has been gaining in the polls and could force Dewhurst into a runoff.

The campaign illustrates how Republican politics in Texas has moved to the right since the tea party movement took root in the state.