HOUSTON — Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick called for party unity during his speech at the Republican Party of Texas (RPT) biennial convention on Friday.
Patrick used the relationship between Senator Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump as an example to highlight the importance of uniting the party.
After a bitter primary in 2016 between Cruz and Trump, the two put their differences aside, and Cruz endorsed the presidential nominee. Patrick said Cruz’s endorsement of Trump unified the party, and he became a trusted ally in the U.S. Senate for the president.
The lieutenant governor asked the delegates to put away any hard feelings they may have garnered during the March primaries and support all the Republican nominees this November.
“At the end of the day, we have to come together in November, and we have to beat the Democrats, and we can’t stay home because the candidate that we voted for did not win,” he exclaimed.
Patrick thanked Republican voters for giving him a significant margin of victory in his March primary, saying he received the highest vote total in any primary for both parties in Texas history.
He then touted his accomplishments since assuming the lieutenant governor position in 2014, including passing the Sonogram Bill, which he claimed has prevented 100,000 abortions since its enactment.
Patrick then shifted to talking about the most recent legislative sessions, saying he has done his job to pass legislation in the State Senate that addresses conservative priorities. However, he hinted that the Texas House has failed to pass those measures.
One measure he highlighted was an amendment to a voter bill that would have boosted voting illegally from a misdemeanor to a felony. Last year, the Texas House lowered the penalty to a misdemeanor. When the Senate passed legislation to reverse the change, House Speaker Dade Phelan blocked the bill from being brought back up for debate, saying he did not want to “relitigate” the issue.
Patrick affirmed that restoring illegal voting as a felony would remain his top priority in the next legislative session.
“I’m not pointing fingers; I’m just telling you the truth that wasn’t in our bill; it was amended in the house; it came back; we fixed it, and they didn’t hear it a second time; I’m gonna pass that until they pass it,” he said.
Patrick spoke about twice passing a ban on gender modification surgery on children in the State Senate. That legislation also died in the House.
“I will pass it again and again and again until it passes because it’s child abuse,” asserted Patrick.
The lieutenant governor additionally touted bills passed in the Senate to end taxpayer-funded lobbying and ban the removal of monuments, which also did not get through the House. He praised state senators for passing the measures, saying they deserved credit.
The Republican delegates gave the lieutenant governor a raucous ovation as he affirmed he would continue to try to pass the measures he mentioned.
Patrick concluded his speech by once again calling for party unity in November, citing the bible verse that states a house divided against itself can not stand.
“We cannot take November for granted in Texas,” Patrick said. “The Democrats can’t beat us; only we can beat ourselves. So let time heal for some people that are still unhappy about various things but have us all come together like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump did and became the dynamic duo in draining the swamp in Washington.”