Tea Party Getting Stronger in Texas

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dallas Morning News columnist Gromer Jeffers takes a look at the strength of the Tea Party in Tuesday's primary runoffs.

    Even as tea party-backed candidates have struggled elsewhere, the movement is just getting stronger in Texas.

    Best embodying that is Dan Patrick. The conservative grassroots star trounced an 11-year, mainstream incumbent to claim the GOP nomination for the powerful lieutenant governorship during Tuesday's runoff.

    Patrick could be the second-coming of firebrand U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz -- whose political celebrity was forged in Texas, making it the nation's unquestioned tea party franchise state.

    Patrick has promised to push Texas farther to the right, using a fiery and abrasive personal style tempered with the religious fervor of a devout, born-again Christian.

    He insists Cruz remains Texas' unchallenged tea party top dog.

    But some observers believe Patrick could follow a path blazed by Cruz, eventually becoming a future force nationally.

    CLICK HERE for Complete Coverage of the Texas Primary Election Runoff from The Dallas Morning News