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The Race for Texas Lieutenant Governor

Bob Daemmrich / Alyssa Banata/Texas Tribune

It's known as the most powerful office in Texas government. And for the first time in 12 years, this Election Day, Texans will choose a new Lieutenant Governor to run the Texas Senate.

Republican nominee state Senator Dan Patrick defeated the incumbent David Dewhurst in a rough GOP primary, where the candidate who won the title as the 'most conservative' won the voters' favor.

Patrick has taken up the mantle of Tea Party crusader in the Texas Legislature. If elected, he has promised to do things that the most conservative activists have wanted to see for years. He's pushing for the elimination of a Senate rule that requires a bill to have support of two-thirds of senators before it can come up for vote.

If Patrick wins, and follows through, that move is expected to let Tea Party pet projects slide through the Senate, possibly including school vouchers, additional abortion restrictions, and deep budget cuts that even conservative business leaders worry could hurt the state's economy.

Democrat state Senator Leticia van de Putte hopes that won't happen, and that she'll be in charge instead.

The Texas Senator has been pushing her work with veterans and the business community during her run. She's called Patrick too extreme for Texas, pointing out what she considers his harsh anti-immigrant campaign promises

A recent poll shows Van de Putte trailing Patrick by double digits.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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