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Texas Tea Party Conservatives Win Top GOP Runoff Contests

Updated: Wednesday, May 28 2014, 06:59 PM CDT

The results are in and Texas is political gold for Republican candidates.

State Senator Dan Patrick easily cruised to victory in the republican race for Lieutenant Governor Tuesday night.

He trounced incumbent David Dewhurst by more than 200,000 votes, but turnout was low.

The results showed just over five percent casted a ballot in the election for a candidate who could go on to represent 26 million Texans, and some are saying a Patrick victory in November could lead to a more conservative Texas Senate with tea party backing.

"Tea party folks love America, and they love the constitution, and they love free markets, and the love the second amendment, and they love Texas," Patrick told a crowd of supporters after locking up the Republican nomination.

Tuesday night Dan Patrick was feeling that love, but now the real race for Texas Lieutenant Governor begins. State Senator Dan Patrick will be squaring off with State Senator Leticia Van de Putte.

"What Dan Patrick offers is to throw Texas in reverse and step on the gas," Van de Putte said. "What Texas wants us to do is to move forward."

Leticia Van de Putte believes she offers a different style, saying some in the Republican Party are concerned with the Tea Party ways.

Van de Putte says some business people have already called her concerned about the direction Patrick could take the state.

"What they're worried about is people like Dan Patrick would rather be partisan first and not come to the table, and ignore the pleas of business people." said Van de Putte.

But Patrick's victory along with other tea party backed candidates across Texas speaks to the party's grip on the state.

"Last night's election victories by Dan Patrick, and Ken Paxton, and others kind of shows where we are in the Republican Party," said Republican strategist Brendan Steinhauser. "It's the future of the Republican Party that you've really got to pay attention to."

The Democrats are paying attention, claiming the tea party is often focuses more on hating and fighting Washington than doing what's right for Texans.

"I think the politics of no and the politics of fear and we have to move beyond that," said Texas Democratic Party communications director Emmanuel Garcia. "It needs to be a time where neighbor working with neighbor to get things done"

Either way the battle in Texas is just getting started.

"If the democrats think they are going to bring Obama liberalism to Texas and win, they have a long cold day in November coming," said Patrick.

By Adam Racusin

Texas Tea Party Conservatives Win Top GOP Runoff Contests

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