Tea Party Influence Uncertain After Texas Primary Races04:15
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The first primary in what Republicans hope is a triumphant election year sent a message that U.S. Sen Ted Cruz and the tea party still wield considerable influence in one of the nation's most conservative states.

But to find out exactly how much, Texans will have to wait.

In a primary where an extraordinary number of statewide positions were up for grabs following Gov. Rick Perry's decision not to seek another term, some incumbent candidates successfully fought to beat back tea party challengers Tuesday.

But several candidates who forced runoffs in May were either praised by the outspoken freshman senator, Cruz, or who ran with his no-compromising swagger.

Ben Philpott, senior political reporter for KUT in Austin, Texas, joins Here & Now's Robin Young to discuss yesterday's primary election.

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This segment aired on March 5, 2014.

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