For the first time since his presidential bid ended, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has endorsed a candidate for lower office. For the umpteenth time, he's offering a boost to a candidate — Colorado's Darryl Glenn — running as a true conservative against a candidate favored by the party's establishment.

"Darryl earned the support of 70 percent of the delegates present at the Colorado GOP convention and is a committed public servant and small business owner who bravely served our nation as a U.S. Air Force officer," Cruz said in a Friday morning statement. "He is a constitutional conservative with the experience to understand what it takes to bring back economic growth and preserve our individual liberties."

Glenn, who'll host Cruz for a campaign stop on Monday, rose from obscurity two months ago with a roof-raising speech at the aforementioned convention. A room packed with Cruz supporters (who succeeded in electing most of the state's delegates to the Republican National Convention) cheered as Glenn, an African American commissioner in El Paso County, introduced himself as an "unapologetic Christian, constitutional conservative, pro-life, Second-Amendment-loving American" who would fight "evil in this world," like Planned Parenthood. He'd raised less than $46,000 for his race up to that point, but easily outclassed his rivals.

Among those rivals: Jon Keyser, a 34-year old veteran and former state lawmaker who's generally understood to be the party's favorite for the race against Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). Keyser had raised nearly 10 times as much money as Glenn by the convention, but his relative lack of grass-roots support was revealed by botched candidate petitions that were challenged for containing bogus signatures.

As Keyser struggled to get past the story, Colorado — on paper, one of the GOP's best opportunities for a 2016 upset — seemed to fall off the Republican map. By endorsing Glenn, Cruz may have lent early support to Colorado's next senator. At worst, he's aligned himself with the state's activists, something that will help in Cleveland and pay off in 2020 if, as expected, Cruz runs for president again.