Dan Patrick soundly defeated incumbent David Dewhurst in the run for Texas' Republican nomination for lieutenant governor Tuesday, winning 65 percent of the vote.
Patrick, a Tea Party-backed Houston senator and former talk show host, is expected to win the November election against his Democrat opponent, Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, considering the Lone Star state has not elected a Democrat to a statewide office since 1994.
Describing himself as an "authentic conservative," Patrick spoke to supporters in his primary victory speech Tuesday, attributing his win to voters' eagerness for "a bold conservative message," The Dallas Morning News reported
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"Some Democrats have said they wanted me to be the nominee. Well, they’ve got me and I’m coming," the 64-year-old Patrick continued as his supporters clapped. "If the Democrats think that they’re going to bring Obama liberalism to Texas and win, they have a long, cold day in November ahead of them."
In contrast, a tearful Dewhurst, who served as lieutenant governor of Texas for three terms, told reporters at a Houston news conference, "Over the last 10 years, we've had a shared vision . . . that has left Texas a better place than we found it."
"At the end of the day, that's all you can ask," Dewhurst continued, after calling Patrick to congratulate him on the win.
Patrick is one of two Tea Party-backed Republican candidates who won state-wide primaries in Texas Tuesday
. State Sen. Ken Paxton also defeated state Rep. Dan Branch in the attorney general's contest.
"The Tea Party groups are better-organized, much better-funded, and much more-focused than the pro-business or other establishment outside efforts," Texas-based strategist Matt Mackowiak told The Associated Press
. "They just are."
"Tea Party folks love America, they love the Constitution, they love (free) markets, they love the Second Amendment, and they love Texas," Patrick continued at his victory party Tuesday. "If you love America, welcome to the grassroots of the Republican Party."
If Patrick should become Texas' next lieutenant governor, as is expected, he promises to promote pro-life and gun rights measures across the state while also halting an "illegal invasion" of immigrants, the AP noted.
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