Houston Debate Features Four GOP Lt. Gov. Hopefuls

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    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst listens to veterans during a visit to the VFW post in Grand Prairie, Texas, Thursday, July 19, 2012. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    The crowded Republican primary field for lieutenant governor is squaring off in another debate.

    Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and tea party-backed state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston are all challenging Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who is seeking re-election.

    There may be some verbal barbs Tuesday night, at an event sponsored by the United Republicans of Harris County and the Texas Federation of Republican Women.

    The four agree on many hot-button issues, including being staunchly anti-abortion and pro-gun.

    But sparks flew at a recent Houston debate when Patrick, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, criticized Dewhurst for naming too many Democratic committee heads. Dewhurst countered that none of the committees Democrats lead are important.

    Meanwhile, no major Democratic candidate has yet declared to run for lieutenant governor.