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It was likely inevitable as the Junior Senator from Texas has been essentially campaigning for months now. He starts with a strong Tea Party backing and fairly wide support among many Republicans who would seriously consider looking at him as a potential nominee. Cruz is skipping any formal exploratory process and launching right into an official campaign, which he announced today at a speech from Liberty University (see video below).

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Report from the Houston Chronicle:

Sen. Ted Cruz plans to announce Monday that he will run for president of the United States, accelerating his already rapid three-year rise from a tea party insurgent in Texas into a divisive political force in Washington.

Cruz will launch a presidential bid outright rather than form an exploratory committee, said senior advisers with direct knowledge of his plans, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made yet. They say he is done exploring and is now ready to become the first Republican presidential candidate.

The senator is scheduled to speak Monday at a convocation ceremony at Liberty University in Virginia, where he is expected to declare his campaign for the presidency.

Over the course of the primary campaign, Cruz will aim to raise between $40 million and $50 million, according to advisers, and dominate with the same tea party voters who supported his underdog Senate campaign in 2012. But the key to victory, Cruz advisers believe, is to be the second choice of enough voters in the party’s libertarian and social conservative wings to cobble together a coalition to defeat the chosen candidate of the Republican establishment.

Cruz posted this tweet which contains a video from his revamped campaign website :

At the moment, Cruz is sitting at around eighth place with 4.6% in the RealClearPolitics national primary average. If you drill further to the state level in Iowa, the average has him at around 4.3%, which is good for ninth place currently.

As far as rhetoric goes, Cruz is on par with most any mainstream conservative position. He’s socially conservative as well as economically conservative. There remains questions about whether he is eligible to obtain the office of the presidency given that he was born in Canada to his American mother. That issue will be debated for months to come with legal experts taking differing opinions on the matter.

Also, Cruz must contend with comparisons to Barack Obama given that he is running for President as a one-term Senator with no major executive experience. Then again, Rand Paul must answer the same thing..

So, Cruz is in, Rand Paul will soon follow on April 7. Who will be next in the pool?

Update

Here is the entire video of Cruz’s official campaign announcement from Liberty University on March 23, 2015:

More from Chron.com:

LYNCHBURG, Va. – It was like any other Monday convocation on Liberty University’s sprawling campus, except the students were handed little American flags to wave on their way in the double-glass doors.

Though attendance was mandatory for the school’s resident students, Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz faced a rapt audience as he launched his long-expected bid for the presidency under the Vine Center’s vast, 10,000-seat white dome.

“I believe God isn’t done with America,” Cruz said to a raucous standing ovation. “I believe in you. I believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of America. And that’s why today I am announcing that I am running for president of the United States.”

Cruz is nothing if not a strong orator. That worked out well for Obama, so it can’t be discounted.

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