Cruz helping Kansas Sen. Roberts launch bus tour

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is coming to Wichita to boost the re-election campaign of fellow Republican and Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts.

Their event Thursday at the Wichita Area Builders Association offices will kick off a four-day bus tour with stops in 11 communities in the eastern half of the state.

Cruz's visit is designed to woo tea party voters after Roberts emerged from a tough GOP primary in August looking vulnerable. The three-term Kansas incumbent faces a tough race with independent candidate and Olathe businessman Greg Orman.

Cruz precipitated last year's partial federal government shutdown because of his opposition to Democratic President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. Roberts is emphasizing his opposition to Obama's agenda.

Orman is running as a centrist, pledging to break partisan gridlock.