Political parties in Texas face high stakes in November

Supporters of state senator Dan Patrick at his runoff night watch party.
Supporters of state senator Dan Patrick at his runoff night watch party.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — With runoff elections now behind them, campaigns and party leaders for both Democrats and Republicans are pushing toward November.

The Republican Party of Texas is trying to pull its base together after the runoffs that pitted candidates against each other.

“In short order, our staff will be in touch with all of the winning candidates in order to map out a battle plan for victory in November,” said Steve Munisteri, the Republican Party of Texas chairman, in a statement. “If the Democrats are successful in obtaining even one of the major statewide offices they can block conservative legislation and thwart the legislative agenda of our gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott, who we are confident will be elected in November if we all do our best. ”

Patrick said Tuesday night that if he won, he would head up the most conservative Texas Senate in history.

Democrats are already using the votes Tuesday to highlight a shift right in the nominees.

“The days of a pragmatic Texas Republican Party are over,” said Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Emmanuel Garcia in a statement. “These Republican candidates across Texas are far more interested in rhetoric than solutions for Texas families.”

“It is important that the Democrats understand when they say battleground Texas, they picked the worst ground ever to have a battle on,” said GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick.

Democratic lieutenant governor nominee Leticia Van de Putte says she’ll focus on the education, transportation, jobs and water issues in the general election.

“Republicans are, particularly Dan Patrick is focusing on the issues that divide us,” Van de Putte said. “I’m glad that Dan Patrick, after a year of campaigning, is finally going to come into the communities that really are the future majority populations for the state of Texas.”

Patrick spoke about border security, water, transportation, education, and property tax issues at his victory speech.

“We’re going to go into Democrat strongholds. Some Democrats have said they wanted me to be the nominee, well they’ve got me and I’m coming,” said Patrick.

Republicans say if even one Democrat wins major statewide they could block conservative bills and give Democrats an opportunity in 2016 and the presidential race.

The challenge to win in November is greater for Democrats who have not won an election for statewide office in about 20 years.

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