Oil & Gas PAC endorsement puts ex-rivals on same side

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Burying the political hatchet, maybe?

The Texas Oil and Gas Association’s Political Action Committee on Tuesday endorsed Republican lieutenant governor hopeful and Houston state Sen. Dan Patrick.

The endorsement was little surprise for a statewide trade organization dedicated to all facets of the oil and gas industry. But the move comes just five days after a former Patrick rival, Todd Staples, announced he would quit his state agriculture commissioner post to become the association’s president.

Staples and Patrick were rivals in a bitter, four-way Republican primary for lieutenant governor. Patrick prevailed and is facing Democrat Leticia Van de Putte.

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Staples announced his impending resignation last week.

A statement from the political arm of his new organization praises Patrick’s understanding “that Texas oil and natural gas producers power our state forward.”