Without fanfare and accompanied only by a handful of reporters and supporters, Ted Cruz officially filed over the weekend to be a candidate for re-election in 2012, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Although the first term Senator is widely favored to win re-election, Cruz himself conceded that the performance of the Congress between now and next fall will have a major impact on the fate of the Republican majorities in the Senate and House.
"I have long believed that the Senate holds our fate in our own hands," Cruz said. "If we deliver on our promises on tax reform on reg reform, on Obamacare and on judges, I think 2018 could be a fantastic election."
Cruz was elected in 2012, upsetting then Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and bringing his no compromise brand of conservatism to Congress.
One of Cruz's first high profile acts was a 48 hour filibuster against Obamacare in 2013, when he led a government shut down over the issue, and raised the opposition of some of his Republican counterparts.
In his announcement in his home town of Houston, Cruz downplayed the challenge from several Democrats, most notably U.S. Rep Beto O'Rourke (D-El Paso). He says Republcians will be judged in 2018 on what they have done with the majority, and he says that's why the tax reform bill now in conference is so critical.
"We have been seeing American companies fleeing America and taking jobs with them," he said. "So, cutting the business taxes to make business more competitive in America is designed to bring those jobs back, to bring those companies back.
"What remains to be seen is how Trump supporters will view Cruz' candidacy. Many feel that he 'betrayed' the future President by being the final Republican to withdraw from the primary race, and then failing to enthusiastically endorse Trump in the general election.
But although O'Rourke is raising a surprising amount of money, his remains a long-shot bid, as he still is relatively unknown across the state, and his home in remote El Paso will not help build name recognition going into next year's election.