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Incumbent Dewhurst Claims He’s Closing Gap In Runoff For Lt. Governor

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
Jack moved to Dallas after three years at WESH-TV, the NBC affil...
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NORTH TEXAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst has one week left to convince voters to keep him on the job another four years.

At a luncheon Tuesday, Dewhurst reminded the Republican Women of Plano about their civic duty. “If you haven’t voted, go out and vote,” he said.

Dewhurst is in a run-off with State Senator Dan Patrick of Houston — who beat him 41-percent to 28-percent in March.

Lt. Governor Dewhurst told me he’s confident he can come from behind and win. “We’ve closed, we’ve closed [the gap] dramatically. Our polls show us within a baseball throw of winning. We’re pretty close, I’d say we’re within five points.”

CBS 11 News has made several requests to interview Senator Patrick, but his aides told us he wouldn’t be available Tuesday. A campaign spokesman says their internal polling shows Patrick is ahead of Dewhurst by more than five-percent, but he wouldn’t specify.

Dewhurst has flooded the airwaves with negative ads against Patrick, who has responded with his own.

But the nastiness intensified last week, after a former Republican candidate for Lt. Governor, Jerry Patterson, who also endorsed Dewhurst, released court records showing Patrick received psychiatric treatment for depression. Dewhurst said he and his campaign had nothing to do with that, but he also isn’t apologizing, and says it’s up to voters to decide if it’s relevant.

Patrick has said in a statement, “I voluntarily entered the hospital twice in the 1980’s for exhaustion and to seek treatment for depression.”

But at least one political analyst, Southern Methodist University Political Science Professor Cal Jillson, doesn’t believe the controversy will hurt Patrick during the runoff. “I don’t think he is going to lose that edge. In fact, I expect that he will win the Lt. Governor’s primary. The true believers will come out and they’ve been with Patrick.”

Follow Jack on Twitter: @cbs11jack

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