After Big Win In Runoff, Patrick Focuses On Democratic Opponent

HOUSTON (CBS 11 NEWS) – Amid cheers at his election night party, Republican State Senator Dan Patrick of Houston gave credit to a key group of supporters: “Salute the Tea Party of Texas,” Patrick said.

Dan Patrick rode the Tea Party wave to victory.

With strong support from grassroots conservatives, the State Senator from Houston easily defeated incumbent David Dewhurst to become the Republican nominee for Lt. Governor.

Patrick told me his message won. “People at the end of the day want to vote for someone who’s going to do something that’s good for them, their families, and their state.”

He said his priorities are to secure the border, lower property taxes, and reduce the inner-city high school drop-out rate.

Patrick also fired a shot at Democrats.

He said he would try to win-over their strongest supporters. “We’re going into Hispanic communities and African-American communities all across the state during this race because to get someone’s vote, you have to respect them enough to go talk with them and explain who you are.”

But Democrats say because Patrick has campaigned so strongly against amnesty and state benefits for illegal immigrants, he may not be welcome in the Hispanic community.

State Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor, told us, “I think he needs to be careful going into Latino communities after he repeatedly insulted those communities.”

Van de Putte said Wednesday that business owners are calling her to express their concern about Patrick.

“They’re rightly concerned the direction that Dan Patrick would take the state infecting our Texas legislature with that type of Washington DC politics that focuses on partisanship rather than good public policy.”

Political analysts believe Patrick will beat Van de Putte this fall because Texas is still a solidly conservative state.

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