Lt. Gov. Dewhurst

Texas Association of Realtors endorses Dewhurst

The Texas Association of Realtors announced Thursday it is backing Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in his reelection bid. The group has actively pushed property rights legislation in the past, including efforts to lower property taxes and reform the property appraisal system.

In a statement, Chairman Dan Hatfield said:

“We believe Lt. Gov. Dewhurst is an excellent leader who understands that we must ensure Texas remains a great place to do business. Through the years, he has shown that he will do what’s right for Texas, which is why we’ve pledged our support. We’re proud to endorse Lt. Gov. Dewhurst’s re-election campaign.”

Dewhurst faces Sen. Dan Patrick, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the GOP primary. The winner of that race will face Democrat Leticia Van de Putte in the general election in November.

Dewhurst campaign announces $1.4M cash on hand

The David Dewhurst campaign reports it raised $2.3 million in the second half of 2013, a number that puts Dewhurst slightly above two of his competitors in fundraising.

But when it comes to cash on hand, Dewhurst is at the back of the pack. Both Todd Staples and Dan Patrick currently claim $3.1 million in the bank, compared to the $1.4 million total Dewhurst announced today. (Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who is also running for lieutenant governor, has not released totals yet.)

It’s not clear yet how much the Dewhurst team has spent, but the campaign has released a steady series of ads since the lieutenant governor’s official announcement for re-election, with at least one airing nationally. The campaign has also been hampered by an alleged embezzlement scandal, in which a former campaign manager is accused of stealing more that $2 million.

 

TEXPAC endorses Dewhurst for lieutenant governor

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is touting the support of the Texas Medical Association Political Action Committee. TEXPAC announced Thursday it would endorse Dewhurst in his reelection bid.

“Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst values and welcomes the input of Texas physicians in developing health care policy for the state,” said TEXPAC Board Chair Jerry Hunsaker. “We know we can trust Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst to do the right thing for Texas’ patients and their physicians.”

Dewhurst is facing Sen. Dan Patrick, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the GOP primary.

 

Jerry Patterson earns Ron Paul endorsement

Jerry Patterson, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, is boasting an endorsement from former Rep. Ron Paul today. Paul, who also ran for president in 2012, retired from the U.S. House of Representatives last year. Paul served several terms in Congress over the last few decades and has earned a reputation as a staunch conservative and self-proclaimed “defender of liberty.”

In a statement, Paul said:

“Jerry has served Texas well as Land Commissioner. I am now proud to endorse his campaign for Lieutenant Governor. I know Jerry will fight for limited government and more personal liberties. We have a federal government that is out of control, spends too much, borrows too much, taxes too much and continues to infringe on the constitution and states’ rights. This current administration has even gone so far as to sue states they disagree with. We need people in state governments that are willing to stand up to the federal government and say, ‘Enough is Enough.'”

Patterson said he’s honored to receive Dr. Paul’s endorsement. “We are both well-known for never compromising core values and for sticking to our principles in the pursuit of liberty,” he said. “For over 30 years, I have known and talked with Dr. Paul about our shared belief that our country needs a dramatic reduction in the size of government and a return to constitutional principles and I am very grateful for his support.”

Patterson will face Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Sen. Dan Patrick and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples in the March GOP primary. The winner will likely face Democrat Leticia Van de Putte in November’s general election.

 

Patrick launches second statewide television ad

Lieutenant governor candidate Sen. Dan Patrick on Wednesday launched his second statewide television ad. The new 30-second spot targets incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and criticizes his budget leadership during the last legislative session.

“The only thing you need to know about the lieutenant governor’s current budget is that every Democrat praised and voted for it,” Patrick said. “As a conservative Republican, I didn’t.”


This is Patrick’s second television ad to hit the airwaves. His last ad, which proclaimed he was the only candidate to “oppose in-state tuition for illegal immigrants,” prompted outcry from his opponents who argued the claim was untrue and produced a “false” rating from PolitiFact Texas.

Patrick is one of four Republicans on the GOP primary ballot. He faces Dewhurst, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.

Dewhurst ad: ‘Texas takes the cake’

Lieutenant Governor candidate David Dewhurst is out with a new ad today, touting Texas’ job creation record.

“Over the past 10 years, Texas has added more private sector jobs than any other state,” Dewhurst says in the voice over. “If Texas was a cake, and one candle represented 10,000 private sector jobs, Texas would look like this.”

Dewhurst faces three challengers in the Republican primary. He’ll be up against Sen. Dan Patrick, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. No Democrats entered the race yet, although Sen. Leticia Van de Putte has said she is contemplating a run.

Sen. Van de Putte challenges Dewhurst debate comment

Updated to add Lt. Gov. Dewhurst statement

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte is taking issue with comments made by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst during a Dallas debate. Challenger Sen. Dan Patrick took aim at Dewhurst’s legislative committee appointments, accusing him of naming too many Democrats to important seats.

Dewhurst responded with this remark:

“I’ve been reducing the number of Democratic chairs since I came in. You know how many committees we have? Seventeen. You know how many Democratic chairs we have? Five. So I’ve been reducing them, and not one of them is one of the critical committees.”

Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, who is chair of the Veterans Affairs and Military Installations committee, responded quickly on Twitter. Today, she sent a letter to Lt. Gov. Dewhurst, expressing her “great shock” that he was implying the committee’s work “wasn’t important.”

“As a Democrat in the state of Texas, I would understand if you attacked me personally at a Republican political debate.” Van de Putte said. “However I take great exception with dismissing the work of the committee which I chair, particularly because the VAMI committee works hard to protect the men and women that defend your right to freely debate.”

A spokesperson for Lt. Gov. Dewhurst issued this statement in response to Sen. Van de Putte’s letter.

“Lt. Governor Dewhurst believes every committee in the Texas Senate addresses issues important to Texans. As a veteran of the United States Air Force and foreign officer in the C.I.A., David Dewhurst has always supported veterans and was proud to preside over the passage of legislation such as SB163, which awards a 100% property tax exemption to spouses of active duty service members who were killed in action, and SB 162, which helps ease the transition of service members and their families to civilian life.” – Travis Considine, Spokesperson For Lt. Governor David Dewhurst

Sen. Van de Putte has been rumored to be considering a run for Lieutenant Governor. She hasn’t given any indication as to whether or not she’ll get in the race.

The full letter is below the jump.

More >

Internal poll points to Dewhurst, Patrick runoff

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst continues to lead the lieutenant governor’s primary race, but not with enough support to avoid a runoff.

A new pollcommissioned by Sen. Dan Patrick’s campaign, shows Dewhurst polling in first place with 40 percent. Patrick is in second, with 18 percent. Patrick’s campaign is praising the new numbers. Campaign officials say Patrick has gained four points on Dewhurst since May.

“These results show what I am seeing at events across the state,” said Patrick. “The voters are ready for new authentic conservative leadership in the Texas Senate and I am their candidate.”

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson are tied for third with four percent each.

 

 

 

Dewhurst addresses controversial phone call

The state’s lieutenant governor is talking publicly about a controversial phone call for the first time.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst spoke at the Conservative Leadership Symposium in Georgetown Saturday. It was his first public appearance since Wednesday, when a call to the Allen Police Department was released. In the call, Dewhurst repeated his name and title, and asked to speak to the highest ranking officer after his nephew’s wife had been arrested for shoplifting. Dewhurst didn’t talk about the incident during his speech, but he had this to say to reporters afterward:

“How would you feel if you’d had two family members call, and they were so distraught that they could barely talk? And so, I simply wanted to know what the procedures were, what could be done, if anything.It turned out nothing could be done.

Because I kept visualizing this lady who I’ve known for a long time alone. I pictured my mom, who was a single mom, if that ever happened to her. And I was concerned. A very concerned uncle.

And I made it crystal clear that I didn’t expect or deserve any special treatment. But I’m the type of guy that I care for family, I care for friends, I care for the people of Texas, and I’ll fight for them. And I will — in this case, try to find out what the law is. I’ve never had this experience, I’ve never been in this situation. Never knew any of my family members who’ve ever had any trouble with the law. I didn’t know what the rules were, so I asked, found out, and the lady had to spend the night in jail.”

The phone call recording was released after a Freedom of Information request from a Dallas TV station. Allen police say Dewhurst didn’t break any laws in making the call, but his political opponents have characterized it as an abuse of power.

Capital Tonight: Responding to public controversy

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst is responding to criticism over a phone call made to the Allen Police Department in an attempt to get a family member out of jail.

While the lieutenant governor maintains he was acting as a concerned family member, some political experts say public officials should know where to draw the line, and many are even speculating this could do some real damage to his political future.

REGENTS RESPOND

The UT board of regents made changes Thursday, amid controversy surrounding one of their own. Members appointed El Paso businessman Paul Foster as the new chairman, and directed staff to provide a detailed report of on the UT system’s handling of requests under the Texas Public Information Act.

BACK ON TRACK?

The state’s embattled cancer prevention agency has new life after a lack of oversight in the grant-review process drew heightened scrutiny.

We sat down with CPRIT’s interim executive director, Wayne Roberts, to find out where the reconciliation process stands and where the agency’s work is headed.