The fallout from Tuesday night's chaos at the Capitol has produced a new challenger in the race for Lt. Governor. State Senator Dan Patrick, Thursday, tossed hit hat into the ring.
State Senator Dan Patrick walked into an Austin meeting room Thursday morning to join a political race that's already heating up. His campaign slogan, printed on the blue back drop he stood in front of read, "Authentic Conservative Leadership. It is a direct attack on the status quo.
"I think the people in Texas sense it's a time for change," said Senator Patrick.
The Houston republican said he isn't running against anyone in particular, and was about a vision. However, his decision to challenge Lt Governor David Dewhurst was clearly influenced by the Tuesday night- abortion filibuster melt-down erupted throughout the capitol. Patrick and the GOP majority in the Senate were simply overwhelmed.
"The world was watching ... an incredible event Tuesday, that what happened Tuesday night was a lack of leadership, the senate floor was out of control the gallery was out of control ...There seemed not to be a plan, there seemed not to be a backup plan there seemed not to be a contingency plan, and that should never have happened," said Patrick.
While Senator Patrick was holding his news conference, Lt. Governor Dewhurst was on national TV. He defended his leadership and blamed outside forces for the failure of the abortion legislation.
"What the Planned Parenthood what the ACLU did was try and thwart the will of the people of Texas with Obama style tactics I got to tell you I'm mad and I'm really driven to pass this," said the Lt. Governor
Dewhurst also has to fend off attacks from two other candidates who have already been on the campaign trail.
On his website Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson posted:
"Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst must go. I strongly believe he has lost his grip on the reins of the Senate and his horse has run wild. He needs to either dismount or be thrown from the saddle."
Ag Commissioner Todd Staples was a little less inflammatory in his statement Thursday – saying;
"I welcome all voices to the race. With so many critical issues facing our state, we need strong and honest leaders who not only talk the talk, but walk the walk."
Sen. Patrick is not resigning his Senate seat but he is not seeking re-election. That could open the door for Democrats try to target and that seat in an attempt to shake up the balance of power in the state Senate.
To watch video of Sen. Patrick's announcement, click here.