AUSTIN — The first legislative session under Republican Gov. Greg Abbott ended Monday with Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the powerful Senate leader and a Tea Party favorite, dousing rumors that he was already plotting to challenge Abbott in 2018.
Patrick embodied the rightward shift in Texas politics over the past 140 days. He also took the unusual step of assembling an advisory board of big-money donors whose support would be crucial if he sought higher office. “I love this job. I love working with Gov. Abbott,” Patrick said. “We are close friends. We formed a great partnership. I will never be running against Greg Abbott for governor.”