Freshman Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been selected to deliver the keynote address at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference, American Conservative Union President Al Cardenas told WRAL's "Mornings on the Mall" on Friday.
Cruz had already confirmed a speaking role at the conference, which is set to take place March 14-16 in the Washington D.C. area, but the decision to have him close out the conference marks another high-profile move for the Senate newcomer.
A tea party favorite, Cruz has quickly made a name for himself during Capitol Hill proceedings with aggressive and controversial cross-examinations of President Barack Obama's cabinet nominees. He also raised eyebrows last month when he stood by earlier allegations that Harvard Law School had employed a number of communists when he attended the school in the early 1990s.
A number of other prominent Republicans will speak ahead of Cruz to the largest annual gathering of conservatives, following the theme of "America's Future: The Next Generation Of Conservatives."
The list includes 2016 GOP presidential prospects such as Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has also been given a keynote speaking role. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who delivered the keynote address at CPAC in 2012, have also accepted speaking roles at the high-profile conference.
Other past CPAC keynote addresses have been delivered by former Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) -- who delivered the keynote in 2011 and was subsequently ousted from Congress the next year after a single term -- and former Fox News host Glenn Beck in 2010.