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Heidi Cruz, wife of Ted Cruz, to visit Belleville on Tuesday

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Ted Cruz joined the race for Republican presidential nominee on March 23, 2015 in a speech at Liberty University in Virginia. Find out where the Tea Party favorite and child of a Cuban immigrant stands on immigration reform, combating ISIS, the na
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Ted Cruz joined the race for Republican presidential nominee on March 23, 2015 in a speech at Liberty University in Virginia. Find out where the Tea Party favorite and child of a Cuban immigrant stands on immigration reform, combating ISIS, the na

Heidi Cruz, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, will visit the metro-east on Tuesday, according to the Cruz campaign website.

The “St. Clair County Republican Women Coffee with Heidi Cruz” event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Eckert’s Country Store, 951 S. Green Mount Road, in Belleville.

The event is free and open to the public.

It started off as “a nice little coffee” with Mrs. Cruz, said Mary Thurman, the St. Clair County Republicans secretary. Then interest grew.

“There such zeal for this election,” Thurman said. Sixty-six people have registered to go on the event-scheduling site Eventbrite, she said. Cruz’s wife will also makes stops in Effingham, Champaign and Bloomington.

Because the state is up for grabs, there is more interest in it, Thurman explained.

The Republican women’s group meets on the second Tuesday of every month at Eckert’s, though the restaurant and store doesn’t usually hold political rallies, restaurant manager Jill Tampillo said.

According to the Cruz campaign website, people are invited to have coffee with Heidi Cruz “as she travels across Illinois to meet with voters and talk about why Ted is the right candidate to reignite the promise of America.”

It was still unclear whether the Texas senator will join his wife for the trip, but the campaign website gives no indication that will happen.

Thurman said her group won’t make an endorsement before the March 15 Republican primary in Illinois.

“We believe that individuals have a right to pick their own candidate,” Thurman said, adding that the policy respects the voter. Coffee with Cruz is an opportunity to expose voters to the candidates, she said. Anyone who comes through the metro-east would be welcomed, she said.

Ted Cruz recently cinched victories in Kansas and Maine, and Donald Trump captured Louisiana in Saturday’s four-state round of Republican voting. Trump also won the Republican presidential caucuses in Kentucky.

Ted Cruz, a Tea-Party favorite, attributed his strong showing to conservatives coalescing behind his candidacy, calling it a “manifestation of a real shift in momentum.”

Casey Bischel: 618-239-2655, @CaseyBischel

Who’s winning presidential delegate count?

  • Trump: 384
  • Cruz: 300
  • Rubio: 151
  • Kasich: 37
  • Clinton: 1,130
  • Sanders: 499

Source: New York Times 2016 primary results

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