U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to speak at New Orleans GOP event U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz to speak at New Orleans GOP event Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks at the Denton County Republican Party's annual dinner at the Hyatt Regency DFW Airport, on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, near Dallas. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Michael Ainsworth) the associated press Feb. 05, 2014 Comments NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a tea party favorite, is coming to New Orleans later this year. Cruz will speak in May at the Republican Leadership Conference, an event that draws major conservative GOP figures to the Crescent City each year. It will be Cruz’s third appearance at the event since 2010. Republicans from 47 states have traveled to New Orleans for previous Republican Leadership Conference events, including GOP governors, U.S. senators and congressmen — and several presidential contenders. This year’s event will be held from May 29 through May 31. Event spokesman Charlie Davis says the conference again will hold a presidential race straw poll gauging support for possible Republican candidates eyeing a 2016 White House bid.