Ted Cruz to become first major candidate to jump into 2016 race

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Ted Cruz is set to become the first major candidate for president.

The Texas Republican will launch his campaign Monday, kicking off what’s expected to be a rush over the next few weeks of more than a dozen White House hopefuls into the 2016 campaign.

Cruz will formally get into the race during a morning speech at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, choosing to begin his campaign at the Christian college founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell. It’s a fitting setting for Cruz, a 44-year-old tea party darling whose father is a pastor.

While Cruz is the first Republican to declare his candidacy, he’s all but certain to be followed by several big names in the GOP, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and two Senate colleagues, Kentucky’s Rand Paul and Florida’s Marco Rubio.

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