Texas may have its answer to Marco Rubio.

Many Republicans view Ted Cruz as the Texas version of Rubio, the Hispanic U.S. senator from Florida whose conservative philosophy and strong oratory skills helped make him a national tea party force seemingly overnight.

But unlike Rubio, who served several years in the Florida Statehouse before winning his Senate seat, Cruz has never appeared on a ballot. The son of a Cuban immigrant got most of his seasoning for next month’s Senate primary by arguing in front of the state Supreme Court as the longest-serving Texas solicitor general.