Former Texas solicitor general Ted Cruz announced a moment ago that he is running for the Senate seat from which Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is retiring. Cruz made the announcement on a conference call with bloggers, and will send out a release to the mainstream media after the call. Cruz says that at the heart of his campaign is a defense of the free market, which is under assault from Washington. Cruz joins a crowded but talented field running for the Hutchison seat on the GOP side. Cruz says that of all the field in the 2012 GOP primary, in his judgment, none of the candidates has a comparable record of standing for conservative principles and consistently winning on a national level.