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Cruz taps Fleming as campaign's Texas Tea Party chair

U.S. Senator and GOP Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz

Ted Cruz's presidential campaign has recruited one of his home state's most prolific Tea Party activists, JoAnn Fleming.

Fleming, a longtime Cruz ally who backed his underdog bid for the U.S. Senate, will serve as the Texas Tea Party chairwoman of his White House run, according to a campaign source. A formal announcement was expected Tuesday afternoon.

"JoAnn is one of Texas’ most experienced activists and has a long record of leading the fight for conservative principles," Cruz said in a statement to the Texas Tribune. "She has been a supporter from the very beginning when no one thought I had a shot at even becoming a senator, and through her hard work and dedication we proved the establishment wrong."

"Under her leadership, I am certain we will see a groundswell of support from the grassroots in Texas, along with an army of volunteers and supporters to help us be very competitive in our home state," added Cruz, whose campaign is based in Houston.

Fleming is the executive director of Grassroots America, a Tyler-based conservative group whose backing is coveted in GOP primaries throughout the state. She also has chaired for two terms the Legislature's TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee. She most recently led Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's now-defunct Grassroots Advisory Board.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at http://www.texastribune.org/2015/07/28/cruz-taps-fleming-texas-tea-party-chairwoman/.