Rafael Edward Cruz (born December 22, 1970) is an American politician and attorney who has served as the junior United States Senator from Texas since 2013. He was a candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2016 election.
Cruz is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. From 1999 to 2003, he served in various political appointee positions: the Director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice, and a Domestic Policy Advisor to George W. Bush on the 2000 George W. Bush Presidential campaign. Cruz served as Solicitor General of Texas, from 2003 to 2008, appointed by Texas Attorney General, Greg Abbott. He was the first Hispanic, and the longest-serving, Solicitor General in Texas history. From 2004 to 2009, Cruz was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas, where he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation.
Cruz ran for and won the Senate seat vacated by fellow Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison in 2012. He is the first Hispanic American to serve as a U.S. Senator representing Texas, and is one of three senators of Cuban descent.
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