AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says his campaign war chest has grown to almost $17 million.

The legislative session prohibited lawmakers from raising money before June 19, and they faced a financial disclosure deadline at the end of last month. In a statement Monday, Patrick said he used that 12-day window alone to collect $4 million.

Patrick strategist Allen Blakemore said in the same statement that his formidable funds ensure Patrick’s campaign “is prepared for any political challenge” and “can continue to lead the conservative charge in Texas.”

Patrick oversees the state Senate and says he plans to run for re-election next year. Some conservatives say Patrick could challenge Gov. Greg Abbott in 2018’s Republican primary, but Patrick insists he won’t.

Abbott in January reported having $34-plus million in cash on-hand.

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