As Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) sets out on his campaign for the presidency, voters will be getting to know the 44-year-old junior senator from Texas. Here are a dozen things you may not know about the man who hopes to be the next president of the United States.

1. Rafael. Ted was named after his father; his full name is Rafael Edward Cruz.

2. Canadian-born American. He was born in Calgary, Canada in 1970 to an American mother and a Cuban father when his parents were working in Canada.

Some of his critics have tried to suggest that this would make him ineligible for the presidency, which requires that a candidate for the presidency be a “natural born citizen.” In fact, this clause has always been interpreted as meaning born to an American parent, not in America.

3. Dad’s American dream. His father was born in Cuba and fought in the revolution. After being tortured and imprisoned by the government, he fled to Texas in 1957. He didn’t speak English and worked his way through the University of Texas as a dishwasher and started his own business. He is a pastor in Dallas.

4. Heidi Cruz. Ted’s wife has an M.B.A. from Harvard. She grew up a Seventh-Day Adventist and spent time in Nigeria and Kenya with her parents who provided dental care as part of their missionary service. Ted asked her to dinner two days after they met and says, “I’m embarrassed it took me that long to ask her out!”

5. Princeton days. Ted graduated cum laude with a degree in Public Policy. He and his classmate won the American Parliamentary Debate national award when he was at Princeton and was named Speaker of the Year.

6. Clerking days. After graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, Ted became the first Hispanic to serve as a law clerk for a U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice, with William Rehnquist.

7. Chief Appellate Officer. He was the first Hispanic Solicitor General of the state of Texas and the youngest person ever to become a solicitor general in the United States. As the state’s chief appellate lawyer, he won landmark decisions at the U.S. Supreme Court, including the constitutionality of the Texas Ten Commandments Monument and of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.

8. Before the Court. Cruz himself has argued nine cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, more than any current member of Congress.

9. Law professor. Ted was an adjunct law professor from 2004 to 2009 at the University of Texas teaching U.S. Supreme Court Litigation.

10. First campaign. His 2012 Senate campaign was the first time he ran for any office. He defeated his Democrat opponent 56.60 percent to 40.50 percent, the biggest upset in the national election.

11. Committee service. Senator Cruz serves on three committees – the Armed Services, Rules & Administration, and Joint Economic Committees. In addition, he is chairman of subcommittees on the Judiciary Committee the Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee.

12. Filibuster and Green Eggs. Much like the fictitious Senator Jefferson Smith in Jimmy Stewart’s “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington,” Cruz took the floor of the Senate to speak out on something he truly believed in “until I am no longer able to stand.”

On Tuesday September 19, 2013, at 2:41 pm, Senator Cruz began talking against Obamacare. He spoke until noon on Wednesday, when Senate rules required he yield the floor.

It was the third-longest filibuster in Senate history and although he devoted much of the 21 hours-19 minutes to picking apart President Obama’s signature health care law, eventually he ran out of material.

At just after 8 pm Eastern time (7 pm Central), the Senator noted that it was bedtime for his two daughters at home in Houston and began to read them a bedtime story. He chose the Dr. Seuss classic, Green Eggs and Ham – his wife, Heidi, says it is his favorite.

When he finished the story, Cruz told his daughters, “Brush your teeth, say your prayers, Daddy’s going to be home soon.”


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