Jerry Patterson

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

A new poll from the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Tribune shows current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Sen. Dan Patrick are pulling away from Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson in the Republican race for lieutenant governor.

The new numbers show Dewhurst at 37 percent of the vote and Patrick close behind with 31 percent.

"We are seeing this shaping up to be another establishment incumbent versus tea party insurgent race," said professor Jim Henson, who heads up UT-Austin’s Texas Politics Project.

Ryan Poppe/David Martin Davies / TPR News

Texas Matters: The addition of rocker/conservative-activist Ted Nugent to the campaigning in the race for governor only served to add fuel to an already blazing fire. More on opposition research and it's role in modern campaigning, and how hydraulic fracking in North Texas could play a role in the race for railroad commissioner. Also on this show: Air quality in the Eagle Ford Shale, and a look at the next generation of Texas oil field workers.

State of Texas

News of state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, knowingly employing a person who was in the country illegally in the 1980s has caused more sparks to fly in the Republican race for lieutenant governor.

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, the candidate that exposed Patrick’s employment practices, is promising more to come.

Houston resident Miguel Andrade recently came forward  saying that while working for one of Patrick’s sports bars in the mid-1980s, he was in the country illegally and Patrick had knowledge of this. Patterson confirmed this fact with a letter written by Patrick.

David Martin Davies / TPR News

Republican candidates in the lieutenant governor’s race are spending big on their statewide TV advertising during the first week of early primary voting.

Professor Jim Henson with the University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Politics Project said there is a calculated effort behind which cities they are spending the money in. Henson said how candidates allocate campaign resources among the different geographic urban areas is a big factor behind winning.

President Barack Obama addressed immigration reform Tuesday in his State of the Union address. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has indicated the house might take a piecemeal approach to immigration reform.

But in Texas, the race for lieutenant governor has turned into a four-way battle over who can sound the toughest against illegal immigration.

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