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POLITICS: PennAve

Former Ted Cruz opponent David Dewhurst loses Texas lieutenant gubernatorial bid to Dan Patrick

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Politics,Betsy Woodruff,Texas,2014 Elections,Ted Cruz,Campaigns,PennAve,David Dewhurst,Dan Patrick

State Sen. Dan Patrick ran away with the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in Texas, defeating incumbent David Dewhurst by a comfortable margin in a runoff election.

The Texas Tribune called the race for Patrick a little before 9 p.m. Eastern time. Patrick is well-positioned heading into the general election, where he will face Democratic nominee and fellow state senator Leticia Van de Putte. Dewhurst’s defeat was widely expected ever since Patrick beat him by 13 points in the primary.

“Proverbs 21:31 says the horse is made ready for battle but the victory is the Lord’s,” Patrick said in his victory speech. “We were prepared, we worked hard and we’ve been tested but we always knew in the end the victory was his, and tonight I give all the glory to God for this victory.”

He added that he plans to go to Hispanic and African-American communities to court general election voters. He also said that Dewhurst called him and promised to help him in the general election.

The contest between Dewhurst and Patrick was tetchy from day one; Patrick announced he would primary the incumbent when the state senate — over which the lieutenant governor presides — was still in session. Some saw that move as an eyebrow-arching breach of decorum, and the race that followed lived up to its inception’s promise.

Health records made public by a prominent Dewhurst backer showed Patrick was hospitalized for depression in the mid-1980s. Though Dewhurst comdemned the move, it still drew him widespread criticism and seems to have backfired.

Tea Party leaders were split between the two runoff contenders, though JoAnn Fleming, a Patrick supporter who chairs the Texas Legislature's TEA Party Caucus Advisory Committee, said she estimates 90 percent of Tea Party leaders in the state backed Patrick.

Toby Marie Walker, a Dewhurst supporter and prominent Tea Party leader from Waco, said it could take some time for grassroots leaders around the state to reconcile with each other over the loss.

“ ‘You’re not Tea Party enough, you’re not conservative enough,’ there’s a lot of name-calling,” she said.

“I’m not sure how the rank-and-file in the Tea Party are going to mend it,” she continued, of the rift between Dewhurst and Patrick supporters. “I don’t know if it’s possible, to be honest with you. There’s a lot of personal stuff. I think it’s going to take time.”

Numerous Texan Republican political observers said the defeat signifies the end of Dewhurst's statewide political career.

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Author:

Betsy Woodruff

Political Writer
The Washington Examiner