A few weeks ago, Kay Bailey Hutchison announced that she would retire from the US Senate at the end of her term. Texas now needs to find its next Senator, and with the state becoming ever more Republican, that means the Republican primary will be a great opportunity for conservatives, especially Tea Party grassroots, to send a strong conservative to replace Hutchison. Two of the announced candidates for the race came to CPAC, both of whom believe that this Senate race will be nationalized and that garnering support from forums like CPAC will be critical.

First, I interviewed Michael Williams, currently serving his third term on the Texas Railroad Commission, a prominent and powerful board in the state. Williams has spoken at conservative conferences for years, and found himself in his element at CPAC. This is my first interview with Williams, but definitely not his first CPAC interview; he spoke with a number of bloggers yesterday:

Ted Cruz is a former Solicitor General in Texas, and has been ramping up for a high-profile campaign for quite a while. I first spoke with Ted at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference ten months ago (which you can see here), and by a weird coincidence, we ended up sharing the same cab from the FreedomWorks blogger bash back to the hotel on Thursday night, so I got a chance to catch up with him earlier.  He insisted that his record of accomplishment for conservative causes will put him in good position to win both the primary and the general election:

Be sure to check out their websites for more information.  Both men are impressive.  I’m actually a little jealous of Texas voters, who get to choose between good candidates in the primary.  We could use a little more of either or both men in Minnesota, California, New York …