Business leaders across the state of Texas are hoping they can convince Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, to work with them on their agenda of providing more money for roads and water.
During the Republican primary and runoff election, groups like the Texas Association of Business threw their support behind incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, even going as far as to say Republican voters made the wrong choice with Patrick as the nominee.
But now that Patrick has been selected, Bill Hammond, president of the TAB, is having to strategize how to get Patrick, a state senator that opposed using the Rainy Day Fund for transportation, on board with their agenda.
"Our point is that we don’t believe that Texas is profligate in spending as some would have you believe -- like Washington, D.C., is -- and we need to make some investments in infrastructure," Hammond said. "So our concern is really [that] we need to make these investments if we are maintain our competitive edge.”
During the 2013 legislative session, there was a major struggle between Republican factions over fixing roads in Texas. On whether a compromise can be reached between now and 2015, Hammond said it may take a couple of tries.
“I think the approach to government is a big question," Hammond said. "The budget will be a major issue across the board. What will the budget look like when we are done, whenever we are done?”
Despite differences he and other business leaders have with Patrick, Hammond said their political action committee will likely back Patrick over Leticia Van De Putte, the Democratic nominee.