Tea party darling and political newcomer Ted Cruz, whose father fled Cuba with $100 sewn into his underwear, pulled off a stunning upset Tuesday when he won a GOP runoff for a Texas Senate seat. Cruz beat longtime politician, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who sank $19 million of his own money into his campaign and was backed by the GOP establishment, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Cruz is a Harvard Law School graduate and a former state solicitor general, but he’s never held elected office. That inexperience was of little concern for Texas voters, who backed him by a landslide 56 to 44 percent against Dewhurst, Reuters reported. Cruz is the third tea party-backed candidate to unseat a Republican in a U.S. Senate primary.

Cruz called it a victory for the people: >”They said this was impossible,” Cruz told a roaring crowd of supporters in Houston on Tuesday night. “They said I couldn’t do it. And you know, they were right. I couldn’t do it, but you could and you did it. Tonight is a victory for the grass roots.”

Political experts say Cruz is facing an easy race against Democrat Paul Sadler, who won the Democratic primary Tuesday night.