Sen. Ted Cruz has positioned himself as the anti-establishment candidate - that is until truly anti-establishment, non-politicians like Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina entered the race. Still, Cruz is continuing with the persona that he's built since his recent 2013 entry into the Senate as a firebrand willing to defy the advice and leadership of his Republican elders.
The junior senator from Texas has led a rebellious group of conservatives in Congress through more than one government shutdown showdown, including an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and keeps that as a tool to defeat legislation he opposes.
He has taken that anti-establishment, anti-government message and built a presidential campaign based on it. The son of a pastor was the first to announce his candidacy, and he did so on March 23, 2015 at Liberty University, the staunchly conservative college in southern Virginia, which was also a signal to Christian conservatives that he was attempting to win their vote, too.
Since then he has championed social issues, including an effort to defund Planned Parenthood in Congress. He also rushed to Kim Davis' side when the county clerk in Kentucky refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
"This is our fight," Cruz said at Liberty. "The answer will not come from Washington. It will come only from the men and women across this country … from people of faith, from lovers of liberty, from people who respect the Constitution."
Cruz has won four states, including his home state of Texas, so far in the primary contest. He is currently second behind Trump in delegates needed to win the nomination.