Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced Thursday that he would be seeking re-election in 2022.
“We have more work to do and I’m looking forward to the upcoming special session,” Patrick said in a video accompanying his announcement.
“The Democrats are bragging again that they’re going to turn Texas blue,” Patrick said. “I’m not about to let that happen. We will crush them in 2022.”
Patrick seeking re-election comes a month after Donald Trump endorsed him for a third term.
The announcement is a nail in the coffin for any rumors suggesting Patrick might instead challenge Gov. Greg Abbott for the state’s highest office.
Elected to office the same year as Abbott in 2014 after serving for several years in the Texas Senate, Patrick has long served as Texas’ rightwing legislative gatekeeper, controlling which bills make it to Abbott’s desk. A former conservative radio host, Patrick’s tenure has been marked by a consistent focus on party-pleasing bills on issues such as abortion, trans rights, and gun control.
The lieutenant governor’s announcement comes a week after Texas GOP Chairman Allen West resigned, potentially signaling a run for statewide office. But no prominent Republican has announced a challenge to Patrick, yet.
So far, Mike Collier, an auditor who ran against Patrick in 2018 and lost by five percentage points, is the only Democrat to announce his challenge against the incumbent lieutenant governor.
“Time and time again, Texans have called out to Patrick for help,” Collier said in a statement.
“We’ve asked him to fix our grid, ensure a smooth and efficient vaccine rollout, expand Medicaid, and make sure that no Texan — urban or rural, white or Black or Latino or Asian, young or old, employed or unemployed are left behind.”
“Instead, we’ve gotten a corrupt and inefficient leader who dabbles heavily into conspiracy theories that are beneath the dignity of the offices he was elected to represent,” he said.
Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images