Texas Runoffs: Patrick wins Lt. Gov Nomination

State Sen. Dan Patrick waves to supporters during a election-night watch party after the polls closed in the Republican primary runoff election on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, in Houston. Patrick defeated incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in their runoff campaign to claim the Republican spot on the ballot for lieutenant governor in November against Democratic state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Smiley N. Pool)

AUSTIN (KXAN) – Dan Patrick defeated incumbent Lt. Governor David Dewhurst in Tuesday’s GOP nomination runoff election.

Patrick’s victory marks the end of a hotly contested battle between the two Republican candidates. Patrick goes on to face off against Democratic nominee State Senator Leticia Van De Putte.

The crowd cheered and chanted Dan Patrick’s name as his victory was announced at a Houston watch party. He later took the stage for his hard earned victory speech.

He says he spoke with Lt. Gov. Dewhurst on the phone and Dewhurst pledged to back Patrick in the general election.

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“It was exactly 11 months ago today that we launched this campaign and first poll had us down 48 to 14,” Patrick told supporters in a victory speech. “But we thought it was the right time, with the candidate with the right, bold conservative message: secure border and lower property taxes. And we’re going to get that done.”

A Tea Party favorite, Patrick told reporters earlier Tuesday that he was confident going into the election.

David Dewhurst concedes to Dan Patrick in the Texas Lt. Governor's Race.
David Dewhurst concedes to Dan Patrick in the Texas Lt. Governor’s Race.

Going into the evening, Dewhurst, the three-term incumbent, told reporters gathered in Houston that he was not sure how the race would end for the first time in his political career.

“Serving as your Lt. Governor for me has the been the second greatest honor I have ever, ever had other than Trisha saying yes,” Dewhurst said in his concession speech. ” I wanted to win this election for you,” Dewhurst said in his concession speech, “I wanted to win for you to keep government out of your lives.”

The Associated Press reported Dewhurst’s loss is likely the end of his career in politics. But, his term continues until December.

“During the next six months, I want to finalize what I have put in place,” Dewhurst said in an interview with KXAN’s Josh Hinkle. “That is a border security plan that will shut down the Texas border – from illegal immigration to human trafficking to drug trafficking and from transnational gangs.”


Paxton Wins GOP runoff for Texas attorney general

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Tea party favorite Ken Paxton has won the Republican nomination for Texas attorney general after a bruising runoff against fellow lawmaker Dan Branch.

Paxton is now the favorite to replace Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor.

Paxton weathered ethics attacks since the March primary and scrutiny over his work as an investment adviser. State regulators earlier this month fined the McKinney state senator $1,000 for failing to make required disclosures.

A national “dark money” group also poured more than a half-million dollars into TV ads criticizing Paxton. But GOP voters still went with Paxton, whose campaign got a big boost after being praised by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz.

Branch had served in the Texas House for a decade.

Paxton will face Democrat Sam Houston in November.

Democrats nominate Alameel for Senate seat

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Dallas dental mogul and former major GOP donor David Alameel has beaten perennial candidate Kesha Rogers to win the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination.

He now faces Republican Sen. John Cornyn, strongly favored to win his third term in November.

The Democratic Party implored voters not to support Rogers, who wants to impeach President Barack Obama.

Still, Alameel fell just short of winning a majority in a crowded primary field in March, forcing Tuesday’s runoff.

The Lebanon-born Alameel traveled to Afghanistan in 2000 to negotiate with the Taliban about the possible handover of Osama bin Laden to U.S. authorities, but those talks stalled after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Alameel says money will be no object in the race. He long donated to both parties but now says Republicans are too extreme.

 Texas GOP picks Sitton as railroad commissioner

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Oil engineer Ryan Sitton has overcome a big deficit in the March primary to win a runoff for the Republican nomination for railroad commissioner.

Sitton is the CEO of energy consultant PinnacleAIS and has never held elected office. He trailed former Texas House lawmaker Wayne Christian by 12 points after the primary and focused his campaign on being the only candidate with experience in the energy sector.

The railroad commissioner is the state’s chief energy regulator.

Christian was backed by tea party-aligned groups and played up praise from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz’s father.

Sitton will face Democrat Steve Brown in November. The winner will replace Barry Smitherman, who lost a bid to move up the GOP political ladder by finishing last in the primary race for attorney general.

Hogan holds off Kinky Friedman for Democratic agriculture commissioner nomination

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Little-known rancher Jim Hogan has defeated singer and humorist Kinky Friedman to claim the Democratic nomination for Texas agriculture commissioner.

Hogan, of Cleburne, topped Friedman in Tuesday’s runoff after no candidate won more than 50 percent in the three-way March primary.

The agricultural commissioner oversees the school-lunch program in Texas while more broadly handling farming issues.

Friedman ran unsuccessfully as an independent for governor in 2006 and lost the Democratic nomination for agricultural commissioner in 2010.

Hogan made it to the runoff despite minimal campaigning.

Miller wins GOP nod for agriculture commissioner

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Former lawmaker Sid Miller has won the Republican nomination for Texas agriculture commissioner after a runoff boosted by a rare endorsement from Gov. Rick Perry.

Miller also played up using shock rocker Ted Nugent as his campaign treasurer. That gave his candidacy a star power that challenger Tommy Merritt couldn’t match.

Miller served in the Texas House for more than a decade before losing his West Texas seat two years ago. Perry made few endorsements this GOP primary season but threw his support behind Miller earlier this month.

Despite a historic Texas drought, Miller and Merritt spent much of their campaigns touting conservative credentials on issues such as gun rights and abortion instead of addressing farming.

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is leaving office after losing his bid for lieutenant governor.


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