Tea party-backed Republican Ted Cruz defeated Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst for the U.S. Senate nomination in a runoff primary Tuesday.

Cruz, a former state solicitor general finished a distant second in the May 29 primary but forced the runoff because Dewhurst fell short of a majority. Cruz advances to the November election to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the Associated Press reported.

Cruz portrayed Dewhurst, who was supported by Gov Rick Perry, as a timid career politician too willing to compromise with Democrats. He won support from tea party activists and conservative leaders from across the country, and their funding and grassroots organizing helped him overcome Dewhurst's financial advantage and name recognition.