AUSTIN (AP) – The Club for Growth has bought $1.5 million in television and radio ads attacking Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in his bid for the Senate, the conservative activist group said Thursday.

In the statewide ads, the anti-tax organization accuses Dewhurst of raising taxes and boosting state spending while presiding over the state Senate.

“Fact: Dewhurst fought Texas conservatives because he wanted to spend billions more,” one 30-second ad said. The group calls for Republicans to vote for Ted Cruz in the Republican primary runoff on July 31.

Dewhurst and Cruz are in a fierce competition to replace U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. Cruz has said Dewhurst is not conservative enough to represent Texas in Washington while Dewhurst has said Cruz lacks the necessary experience.

Groups like Club for Growth have helped Cruz remain competitive against Dewhurst, who has spent more than $9 million of his own money on the race.

The Dewhurst campaign began airing a statewide television ad on Tuesday attacking the Obama administration for the federal health care law. Dewhurst called the plan to provide health insurance to nearly all Americans “the next threat our economy” and he pledged to introduce legislation to repeal it.

“President Obama has never spent a single day running a business,” Dewhurst said in the ad.

With less than three weeks left before the runoff, both sides are trying to rally supporters to come out and vote. A federal court case over redistricting delayed the Texas primaries almost three months, and turnout for the midsummer runoff will likely decide who wins.

On Wednesday, the Cruz campaign acknowledged that he missed a deadline to file his financial disclosure forms. Cruz was required under federal campaign finance laws to file an updated personal disclosure on May 15 and was fined $200 for missing the deadline.

The lieutenant governor’s office also acknowledged that it removed all of Dewhurst’s speeches from its official website last year but did not explain why. The Cruz campaign has repeatedly accused Dewhurst of trying to hide his record.

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