Dan Patrick

AUSTIN — Democrats in the Texas Senate were even more sidelined by the Republican majority Friday, as Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced committee appointments with the minority party in charge of only two panels.

Patrick, a Tea Party favorite, had warned he was under no obligation to appoint Democrats to leadership positions for the 2015 session. The only two Democrats to get them were the longest-serving member of the Senate and a border lawmaker who has sided with the GOP in critical votes in the last two years.

Ryan Poppe / TPR News

The last time a new Texas governor was sworn in, 9/11 hadn’t happened. We hadn’t been swept into the War on Terror. Fort Hood was just a military base, not a symbol. Ike was a casual reference to a popular former President, not a marauding tropical cyclone.

State of Texas

Dan Patrick has long fought to get a school choice bill passed in Texas. Now, as he takes his final stroll as Senate Education Chair, before becoming Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick is calculating the likelihood of passing such a bill in 2015.

Texas politics is about to take another big step to the right. While nobody outside Texas would describe Gov. Rick Perry or Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst as moderate Republicans, their likely replacements are considerably more conservative — especially in the powerful lieutenant governor's office.

The eyes watching Texas have mostly focused on the governor's race between Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott. But the contest between former conservative radio talk show host Dan Patrick and state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte from San Antonio will very likely be of more political consequence.

Ryan E. Poppe

Appearing at a campaign event in Austin, Republican nominee for Lt. Governor Dan Patrick labeled himself the true pro-business candidate running  in November touting dozens of endorsements from business and trade-associations. 

Houston Republican State Sen. Dan Patrick started his speech, listing off the number of business associations that support his candidacy.