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.
The latest news from around North Texas.
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.