U.S. Senator Ted Cruz fired up a crowd of enthusiastic supporters at a campaign event in Collin County Tuesday morning.

Hundreds of conservatives packed The Pantry Restaurant in downtown McKinney to meet Cruz and ask questions about issues important to Texans, including taxes, immigration, trade, healthcare, and free speech.

“So much fun and excitement at the Ted Cruz rally in McKinney!” one attendee posted on Facebook.

Hometown favorite Angela Paxton, Republican candidate for Texas Senate in District 8, welcomed Cruz to the roomful of people “who are going to support you and work for you to win on November 6.”

“And the only ‘blue wave’ we’re going to see here is a wave bye-bye,” Paxton added.

Before fielding questions, Cruz recounted Republicans’ recent legislative accomplishments and said Congress needs to do more, including simplify the tax code, cut taxes even further, end Obamacare and Dodd-Frank regulations, and “confirm so many judges that it sets Chuck Schumer’s head spinning.”

Asked by a local high school student how conservatives can reach out to the younger generation, Cruz responded:

“Number one, defend liberty. Liberty is contagious, liberty is powerful. Why should you want your life being governed by people in Washington who don’t know who you are and don’t care what you think? That is a powerful ethos: leave me alone, let me be free. And that’s Texas – that’s what we believe in Texas.

“Number two, have fun… Laugh. Be happy warriors!”

Brian Newman, executive director of the new conservative organization Collin Strong, told Texas Scorecard he was thrilled to help the Cruz team coordinate a local event, something he’s done before in his prior role as leader of McKinney Tea Party. He expects to activate his voter network to turn out for Cruz and other conservative candidates in November.

Cruz told the crowd November’s election will hinge on turnout. “If freedom-loving Texans turn out to defend our rights, defend our freedom, then Texas will remain bright red.”

“There are 50 states, but there’s only one Texas,” Cruz concluded. “We’re going to win this race, because Texans will stand and protect our freedoms and we will keep the great state of Texas free.”

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.