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Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz will be the guest speaker for Livingston County Republicans’ Lincoln Day dinner June 3 in Howell.

The 44-year-old Cruz, elected in 2012 as Texas’ junior U.S. senator, was the first of a dozen Republicans to announce their candidacy. He’s also the first Hispanic or Cuban-American to serve as a U.S. senator from Texas.

“It is exciting to have the senator from Texas joining us this year and we are ready to continue our strong Republican tradition of turning out voters,” said Dan Wholihan, chairman of the Livingston County Republican Party. “We are the heart of the Republican base in southeast Michigan.”

The annual dinner, at Crystal Gardens in Howell, includes a 5:30 p.m. VIP reception. Dinner is at 6:30 with a theme of “Freedom on the March: A tribute to our military and their families.”

Dinner tickets alone cost $60 per person. Dinner-VIP Reception tickets cost $150 per person.

Cruz becomes the latest among several Republican presidential contenders trekking to Michigan with hopes of scoring big in the state’s March 8, 2016, Republican primary.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who’s still exploring the possibility of a presidential run but widely considered to be a candidate, will be guest speaker for the Clinton and Ingham County Republicans’ Lincoln Day dinner six days earlier at Eagle Eye Golf Club north of Lansing.

With the crowded field and traditionally high voter turn out, Livingston County is likely to see many of the candidates in the next 10 months, Wholihan said.

“Ted Cruz has always been at the top of our list of people to have speak,” event organizer Dave Grissom said. “With his commitment to our military and plain-spoken style, he is a perfect fit for Livingston County and for Michigan.”

For ticket information, people can visit the web site: www.livingstonrepublicans.com. For information about purchasing a table or being an event sponsor, call Grissom at 517-404-4711.

GHeinlein@detroitnews.com

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