State Sen. Dan Patrick defeats Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in runoff election

Jacob Kerr and Anthony Green

HOUSTON — With more than 65 percent of the vote, state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, secured the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, defeating incumbent David Dewhurst in the runoff election Tuesday.

Patrick will face state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, in the November general election. In a speech, Patrick said he will start campaigning in areas where Democrats perform well, especially in minority communities.

“Starting this week, we are going to go into Democrat strongholds,” Patrick said. “Some Democrats have said they wanted me to be the nominee. Well they’ve got me, and I’m coming.”

Citing his recent debate on immigration with San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as an example, Patrick said he will talk with voters about the issues.

“Before you can get someone’s vote, you have to respect them enough to go talk with them and explain to them why,” Patrick said.

Dewhurst, who has served as lieutenant governor since 2003, said at his watch party that the new challenge his conservative constituents face is remaining united through November.  

“Serving as your lieutenant governor has been the second greatest honor I have ever received, other than [my wife] Trisha saying yes,” Dewhurst said.

Patrick won the four-person primary race in March with 41.5 percent of the vote, and Dewhurst came in second with 28.3 percent. Because no candidate received more than 50 percent, the race went to a runoff between Patrick and Dewhurst.

The race consisted of negative ads and campaigning from both sides. Earlier in May, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson released Patrick’s medical records, revealing Patrick spent time in a psychiatric hospital 30 years ago. Toni Fabry, a Patrick supporter from Frisco, said she was disappointed with the records release.

“I feel like it’s pretty sad that someone has to drag up issues from 30 years ago rather than dealing with the here and now,” Fabry said.

Carolyn Hodges, a UT alumna and former president of the Texas Federation of Republican Women, said at Dewhurst's watch party she found the election results and low voter turnout disappointing.

"I think it's a very sad night for Texas Republicans in looking towards the future for Texas," Hodges said.

Mark Breeding, a Dewhurst supporter and UT alumnus, said he believes Patrick would have a difficult time with the Texas Senate as lieutenant governor.

“I think there’s a lack of respect for Dan Patrick in the Senate—given his history—so I think it will be a problem for Texas,” Breeding said.

Breeding said he thinks voting is a civic duty and that low voter turnout played a large part in the outcome of the Republican runoff. According to the Texas Secretary of State, the statewide turnout was 5.5 percent for the race.

This article has been updated since its original posting.