Ted Cruz, the supreme politician with eyes on the White House
Ted Cruz is still on course to one day fulfill his ambition to occupy the Oval Office. Mr Cruz was always destined for some kind of stardom, be it in politics or academia.
He earned degrees from Princeton and Harvard Law School, and became an accomplished debater.
By 1999 he was a domestic policy adviser for George W. Bush’s presidential campaign, going on to work on the legal battle over the recount in Florida in the 2000 election.
Later, he became associate deputy attorney general in the US Department of Justice. In 2001 he married Heidi Nelson, a high-flying economics adviser to President Bush.
Two years later they went back to Texas, where Mr Cruz had grown up, and he became the state’s solicitor general.
His wife Heidi has spoken publicly about how she struggled emotionally with the move to Texas.
In 2012 Mr Cruz won a stunning upset in the Republican primary for the US senate, becoming the party’s nominee.
He was an instantly polarising candidate due to his conservative views, but became a hero of the Tea Party movement.
A year later Mr Cruz was instrumental in causing the federal government to shut down as he tried to rein in spending and force defunding of Obamacare.
In doing so he launched a 21-hour filibuster in the Senate, using some of the time to read "Green Eggs and Ham" to his two daughters watching at home on television.
Mr Cruz’s actions, especially the government shutdown, alienated many of his Republican colleagues in the Senate.
Lindsey Graham, a fellow Republican senator, said: “If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you."
In 2016 Mr Cruz ran for the presidency, winning the first state to vote, Iowa, and going on to finish runner-up to Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination.
It was a bitter fight, in which Mr Trump branded Mr Cruz "Lyin’ Ted" and insulted his wife.
However, that race meant Mr Cruz has a legacy of national infrastructure should he campaign for the White House again.
The challenge from Mr O’Rourke in Texas had threatened to derail his rise.
But now, aged only 47, and supremely ambitious, it is almost inconceivable that he will not try again.