Texas Primary Runoffs Marked By Big Tea Party Victories

After more than 10 years in the post, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst was ousted in the state’s Republican primary runoff election by a Tea Party favorite who has lambasted his opponent as too moderate.

“Salute the Tea Party of Texas,” state senator and talk radio host Dan Patrick (pictured, left) said following his decisive victory Tuesday. He described his supporters as outspoken defenders of America and its founding principles.

“If you love America, welcome to the grass roots of the Republican Party,” he declared.

As for Dewhurst, he has already acknowledged this would be his final political campaign. An established Republican leader who served alongside popular Texas Gov. Rick Perry since 2003, he faced a successful conservative challenger two years ago when he ran for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Ted Cruz ultimately won that race and went on to become one of the most popular Tea Party-backed politicians in the nation. Patrick’s victory this week was even more decisive. Patrick won the recent election with almost 65 percent of the vote.

As he did following his trouncing in the March primary election, Dewhurst blamed inclement weather for his poor showing at the polls.

“I must be a rain maker,” he said shortly after polls closed Tuesday, explaining he woke up to see rain clouds in the sky. “I said, ‘Oh boy, here we go again.’”

Dewhurst’s campaign resorted to negative jabs at Patrick as Election Day approached. This stance was criticized by a number of experts during his 2012 battle with Cruz, leading many to suggest it contributed to his ultimate loss.

Conservative candidates were successful in a number of other primary runoff races, including a victory for Ken Paxton (pictured, right) over fellow state Rep. Dan Branch in the attorney general campaign. Tea Party support for former U.S. Attorney John Ratcliffe likely helped him take on nonagenarian incumbent Ralph Hall in a state congressional race. And the race for agriculture commissioner went to Sid Miller, who mounted a campaign in which he accused his opponent Tommy Merritt of being too moderate.

While some Democrats see the conservative victories – especially Patrick’s – as a potential route to gaining a foothold in the state, the Republican lieutenant governor candidate is welcoming the challenge.

“Some Democrats said they wanted me as the nominee,” he concluded. “Well, they’ve got me.”

Photo Credit: Facebook/Dan Patrick

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

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