Government Dewhurst headed into runoff with Patrick

Dewhurst headed into runoff with Patrick

Other News

Exxon’s oil slick

Exxon Mobil is slashing its capital spending budget for 2020 by 30% due to weak demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a market...

Folk music’s Mark Twain: 7 Essential tracks from John Prine,

NEW YORK (AP) — Some people, the songs just come out of them. For nearly half a century, they tumbled out of John Prine...

Tarrant County records another COVID-19 death

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) on Wednesday, April 8 reported that a resident of Euless has died as the result of the COVID-19 virus....

Tradition stymied: A year unlike any since WWII for Augusta

The Masters is so intertwined with Augusta, they added an extra day to spring break.You see, the first full week of April isn't just...
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

JIM VERTUNO, Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Firebrand conservative radio talk show host and Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick pushed incumbent David Dewhurst into a runoff for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor on Tuesday, threatening to oust Dewhurst from one of the state’s most powerful offices after 11 years.

Patrick, who has been part of Dewhurst’s Senate leadership team and one of his fiercest critics, made a run at the nomination outright in a campaign that challenged Dewhurst’s credentials as a conservative and cast him as too moderate for the future of the party.

Those two emerged from a heated four-way campaign with state Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.

- Advertisements -

Although he survives to fight on in the May 27 runoff, second place is a blow for Dewhurst, the multimillionaire businessman who lost to upstart and tea party favorite Ted Cruz in the 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate.

The Patrick-Dewhurst winner will face Democratic nominee state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio in November.

Dewhurst has said this will likely be his last campaign. He has spent more than $25 million from his personal fortune on various campaigns over the years and wants to eventually return to the private sector to earn some of that money back.

Dewhurst hoped he could avoid a runoff similar to 2012. Dewhurst won the most votes in the first round two years ago, then lost when Cruz outflanked him to the right and turned out tea-party voters to support him in the runoff.

- Advertisements -

Now Dewhurst finds himself cast as the underdog and Patrick will likely try to follow the same conservative playbook Cruz used.

In his appeal to the right wing of the party, Patrick has declared himself a Christian first and conservative second while pegging his campaign on issues such as stopping illegal immigration.

“In Texas, we will show the rest of the country what it means to be a conservative,” Patrick said.

Dewhurst blamed cold, icy weather across parts of the state Tuesday for keeping voters who would have supported him home and predicted better conditions on May 27.

- Advertisements -

“This race is going into overtime,” Dewhurst told supporters, “and we’re going to win it.”

Dewhurst has tried to court the tea party voters who rejected him two years ago. He touted a conservative record that includes massive budget cuts, tighter restrictions on abortion, photo identification requirements for voters and restriction efforts that bolstered Republican majorities in the Legislature.

But Patrick attacked Dewhurst as too moderate, noting he had appointed several Democrats as Senate committee chairs. He also noted the 2013 abortion bill filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, a 13-hour spectacle in the Senate chamber.

Patrick said Dewhurst should have cut off Davis from what became her star-making moment for Texas Democrats. Davis won the Democratic nomination for governor Tuesday night and will challenge Republican nominee Greg Abbott in November.

- Advertisements -

A runoff is likely to raise the volume off attacks between Patrick and Dewhurst in the coming weeks.

Patrick has been dogged late in the campaign by allegations — raised by Patterson’s campaign — that he knowingly employed immigrants in the country illegally at Houston-area sports bars he owned in the 1980s, which he denies.

Patterson and Staples finished well behind after struggling to push their campaigns in front of Dewhurst and Patrick. Patterson ran on a platform heavy on his record of expanding gun rights. As a state lawmaker in the 1990s, he authored the state’s concealed handgun license law.

As agriculture commissioner, Staples used the office to focus on border security. As a state senator in 2005, he authored the state’s ban on gay marriage, which a federal judge ruled last week is unconstitutional.

- Advertisements -


Associated Press reporter Juan A. Lozano contributed from Houston  

Latest News

Polls, late campaign activity suggest Republican dominance in Texas could be at risk

By Alex Samuels and Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune Oct. 27, 2020 "Polls, late...

Michael Bloomberg to spend $15 million on TV ads for Biden in Texas and Ohio after seeing tight polling

By Alex Samuels, The Texas Tribune Oct. 27, 2020 "Michael Bloomberg to spend $15...

Barrett sworn in at Supreme Court as issues important to Trump await

By MARK SHERMAN Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Amy Coney Barrett was formally sworn in Tuesday as the Supreme...

As Ken Paxton battles scandal, Land Commissioner George P. Bush considering a 2022 run for attorney general

By Emma Platoff and Cassandra Pollock, The Texas Tribune Oct. 26, 2020 "As Ken...

Trey Martinez Fischer becomes second Democrat to announce run for speaker of the Texas House

By Cassandra Pollock, The Texas Tribune Oct. 26, 2020 "Trey Martinez Fischer becomes second...