The 2014 election for lieutenant governor in Texas promises to be the most competitive statewide race in the state. While the Democrats have yet to field a viable candidate, the Republicans are offering four highly qualified candidates, who all have plausible paths to victory. Earlier this week I sat down for a conversation with Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. He is one of those four candidates. There were no ground rules and no questions were out of bounds.
So I asked him about guns, as Patterson is the author of Texas’ 1996 concealed carry law. We also talked about the battle over Texas’ new law that raises health standards in abortion clinics, and why he believes that fight could have been handled more effectively by one of his opponents in the lt. gov. race. The “Texas miracle” which has propelled the Lone Star State to its place atop national business rankings also came up. Patterson also addressed what should be done about the Texas-Mexico border, and came out strongly against the U.S. Senate’s “gang of eight” immigration bill. Patterson also addressed the controversial CSCOPE education curriculum.
In a story previewing this interview, Patterson addressed the possibility that Texas could become an open carry state. Watch the interview here.
On how Lt. Gov. Dewhurst should have handled the abortion bill in the last session:
JEP: David’s a decent man, he’s got a good heart, he’s a friend of mine. But there’s a point…when after you’ve been there a while, you lose your impact and effectiveness. It’s one of the things that comes with incumbency…David tries to be very accommodating sometime with the other side, and you know, you can do that on occasion, but on occasion you just need to roll people. The Democrats would understand that, they’ve done it themselves, if they’re in power they’ll do it themselves again…
Candidly, you have to wonder how that [the abortion bill] was up on the last day of the session. That should have been done prior to that time and when you get to a circumstance that you know you probably may not come out on top, it’s better to pull back and fight another day. In my estimation we should have passed those two other bills…and then sine died, come back the next day in a new special session and passed the pro-life bill that ultimately did pass.
Is Democrat state Sen.Wendy Davis a threat to the Republican dominance in Texas?
JEP: I think she’s a threat. I don’t believe she’s gonna win but she’s a threat in that she will mobilize a party that from their perspective has been too long dormant and basically not in the game. She’ll be their hero, their star, she could change some down-ballot races. I think there’s be folks coming out to vote who otherwise wouldn’t vote…She’s not gonna be the next governor but she could get the turnout in particular, maybe in Travis County where we have a lot of student population and if we have a competitive commissioner’s race or JP race or maybe a state rep race, could make a difference.