Dan Patrick (politician)

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Dan Patrick
42nd Lieutenant Governor of Texas
Assumed office
January 20, 2015
Governor Greg Abbott
Preceded by David Dewhurst
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 7th district
In office
January 9, 2007 – January 13, 2015
Preceded by Jon Lindsay
Succeeded by Paul Bettencourt
Personal details
Born Dannie Scott Goeb
(1950-04-04) April 4, 1950 (age 67)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) First wife (Divorced)
Jan Rankin (1975–present)
Children 2
Education University of Maryland, Baltimore County (BA)
Website Official website

Dan Goeb Patrick (born Dannie Scott Goeb;[1] April 4, 1950)[2][3] is an American radio talk show host and politician from Houston, Texas. He is the 42nd and current lieutenant governor of Texas. He was a Republican member of the Texas senate for the 7th District, which included a small portion of the city of Houston and several Houston-area suburbs located mostly in northwest Harris County.

Patrick defeated three-term incumbent David Dewhurst in the May 27, 2014, primary runoff to win the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor.[4] He then won the position in the fall general election.

Early life[edit]

Patrick was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 4, 1950. He was reared in a blue-collar neighborhood in East Baltimore.[3] He is the only child of the former Vilma Jean Marshall (1926-2016) and Charles Anthony Goeb (1926–2002), who worked at the Baltimore Sun for thirty-one years as a newspaper vendor,[5] before he retired in 1984. In later life, he legally changed his surname from Goeb to Patrick.[6]

Patrick graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; he is the first member of his family to graduate from college.[2][3][7]

Pre-political career[edit]

Radio and television[edit]

Patrick started his first radio job in 1968 at the age of 18.[1] After college, in 1977, Patrick became a television broadcaster in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He later held a similar position at WTTG in Washington, D.C., before he became a sportscaster with KHOU-TV in Houston.[3][8]

According to Patrick, as his surname from birth, Goeb, was not pleasant-sounding or spelled as it sounded, he did not use it from his first day as a radio host.[1] Instead, he used the pseudonym Dan Scott.[1] When Patrick became a television broadcaster in 1977, he changed his air name at the request of the person who hired him in order to avoid confusing Patrick with another anchor at a competitor station with the last name of Scott.[1] Patrick chose Dan Patrick, with "Patrick" being his middle name of his wife's brother.[1] Patrick continued to use this name, and by the time he legally changed his name around 2004, he and his family were known as the Patricks.[1]

Sports bar chain and bankruptcy[edit]

During the 1980s, he was a co-owner of five sports bars in Houston; his mother was the company bookkeeper. Questions later arose during the 2014 lieutenant governor's race about the immigration status of one of Patrick's employees, Miguel "Mike" Andrade. Patrick and Andrade offered different recollections about Andrade's employment. The matter was raised by one of Patrick's opponents, Jerry Patterson, who questioned Patrick's declared commitment to halt illegal immigration.[9]

In 1986, after the sports bars failed, he filed for personal bankruptcy. In October 1992, the case was closed, discharging several hundred thousand dollars in remaining debts.[10] Patrick, who stated it took him 10 years for him and his family "to regain financial equilibrium," has frequently and openly discussed the ordeal and stated how it shaped him as an individual and conservative.[10]

Conservative talk radio host[edit]

Soon after his bankruptcy, Patrick "reinvented himself,"[8] becoming a conservative talk radio host in the 1990s.[10] He hosted a conservative radio talk show. The program, Dan Patrick & Friends, was broadcast in Houston on KSEV 700 AM and in Dallas on KVCE 1160 AM.[11][12] Patrick grew very successful and influential through his talk radio career[8][10] and earned high name recognition.[8] As a talk radio host, Patrick advocated for fiscal conservatism, evangelical Christian values on social issues, and he became a very vocal opponent of illegal immigration.[8] One notable decision Patrick made as the owner of a talk radio program was to sign Rush Limbaugh, who was not well known at the time, on his radio station.[10]

By February 2006, Patrick already owned one radio station.[8] In 2006, Patrick signed a deal to purchase the radio station KMGS AM 1160 in Highland Park, Texas. The station is now known as KBDT.[13] By 2013, Patrick was the majority owner of two radio stations, in Houston and Dallas.[10]


Patrick considered running for the United States House of Representatives in 2004.[1] According to Patrick, while he was still considering a congressional run he changed his legal name to his air name of Dan Patrick as candidates could only list their legal name on the ballot rather than a pseudonym.[1]

In November 2008, Patrick began work to produce The Heart of Texas, a movie based on a real-life story of two families in Simonton, a small Houston-area city. The movie was released the next year on DVD.[14][15]

Texas Senate[edit]

First term[edit]

Patrick was first elected to Texas State Senate's seventh district in 2006, winning the primary election with 68.8% of the vote and the general election with 69.2% of the vote.[2] His term began on January 9, 2007 with the convening of the Eightieth Texas Legislature.

During his first month as a legislator, Patrick introduced Senate Bill 186,[16] which, if passed, would have made abortion in Texas illegal should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. The bill was co-sponsored by fellow Texas state senators Craig Estes and Glenn Hegar.[17]

Patrick obtained passage of three Senate bills during his first session, the fewest number among the five freshmen senators.[18] The other four freshmen Senators—Glenn Hegar (32 Senate bills passed), Kirk Watson (15 Senate bills passed), Robert Nichols (14 Senate bills passed), and Carlos Uresti (12 bills passed) – had previous government experience in other capacities.[19]

Patrick proposed a boycott of Bill Maher's television show Politically Incorrect over controversial statements made by the comedian following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.[20] Patrick is also frequently at odds with the Houston Chronicle and announced a boycott of that newspaper in April 2004.[21]

Second term[edit]

In the 2010 general election, Patrick was reelected with 86.4% of the vote.[2] He also endorsed Rick Perry for re-election in the 2010 election.[22] Soon after winning re-election, Patrick announced, and subsequently created, a Tea Party Caucus in the Texas state legislature, which at its creation had 48 legislative members.[23]

W. Gardner Selby, editor of the Austin American-Statesman's "PolitiFact Texas", listed Patrick as third among the top 10 Republican political influencers in Texas.[24] Patrick is also listed in Texas Monthly as one of the state's most powerful players.[25]

In May 2012, acrimony between Patrick and fellow Republican state senator John Carona was widely reported throughout Texas.[26][27][28][29] In an email exchange, Patrick accused Carona of spreading false rumors about Patrick's marriage. Carona denied that, and additionally denied having commented on Patrick's sexuality.[26][27][29] Carona further said to Patrick: "I've never been shy about sharing my dislike and distrust of you. Put bluntly, I believe you are a snake oil salesman, a narcissist that would say anything to draw attention to himself."[26][29] News reports suggest that the feud was motivated by positioning to succeed David Dewhurst as lieutenant governor should Dewhurst have won a seat as U.S. senator, in 2012.[26][27]

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Committee on Education (Chair)
  • Committee on Criminal Justice
  • Committee on Finance
  • Committee on Health & Human Services
  • Committee on Intergovernmental Relations
  • Committee on Finance
    • Subcommittee on Fiscal Matters
    • Subcommittee on Public Education Funding
    • Subcommittee on Higher Education Funding

Lieutenant governor of Texas[edit]

2014 campaign[edit]

On June 26, 2013, Patrick announced he would challenge incumbent Republican David Dewhurst in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor in 2014.[30] This challenge comes despite Patrick's enthusiastic endorsement of Dewhurst in his failed 2012 bid for the U.S. Senate.[31][32]

In his race for lieutenant governor, Patrick was endorsed in July 2013 by Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas who ran unsuccessfully for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. In 2012, Huckabee had also endorsed David Dewhurst for the U.S. senate nomination for the seat vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison.[33] Victory went, however, to the Republican Ted Cruz.

At a candidate forum in College Station in January 2014, Patrick said that he and two other challengers to Dewhurst, Jerry E. Patterson and Todd Staples, could have sought reelection in their current positions as Land Commissioner and Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, respectively, but were instead "putting our positions on the line because we need new leadership. ... An energetic, passionate conservative to lead the Senate."[34]

At the candidate forum, Patrick described education as a key issue in his campaign because of the 25 percent statewide high school drop-out rate. The is even 40 to 50 percent in the inner cities: "We do not have a future in the state of Texas if we have half of the next adult population – majority being Hispanic – don't have a high school degree," Patrick said.[34]

Patrick said that he would as lieutenant governor work to secure the border with Mexico and to abolish sanctuary cities and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. He also called for lowering property taxes.[34]

Patrick led the four-candidate field in the primary with 550,769 votes (41.5 percent). Dewhurst followed with 376,196 (28.3 percent); Staples, with 235,981 (17.8 percent), and Patterson, 165,787 (12.5 percent).[35] In the runoff election on May 27, Patrick won with 487,829 votes (65.1 percent), defeating Dewhurst, who had 262,086 votes (34.9 percent).[36]

On November 4, 2014, Patrick won the general election against his state Senate colleague, Democrat Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, to become the lieutenant governor-elect of Texas. He was swept into office in a Republican landslide that saw the party retain all statewide elected offices for the fifth consecutive election.

2018 campaign[edit]

On January 9, 2017, the day before the 85th Texas Legislature began its session, Patrick announced he would run for re-election in 2018.[37] He stated his early announcement was in order to dispel rumors that he would challenge Governor Greg Abbott or U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.[37]


Patrick was sworn in on January 20, 2015.[38][39] Soon after assuming office, the Texas Senate voted to drop the threshold needed to consider a bill from two-thirds to three-fifths, something that Patrick had long supported.[8][40][41]

Major legislation that Patrick helped pass during his tenure as lieutenant governor include legalization of campus carry[42] and open carry,[43] a bill allowing pastors to refuse marrying couples if it violates their beliefs,[44] and expanded border security and enforcement measures.[45][46]

On May 13, 2016, Patrick criticized the Obama administration, after it released a directive stating that all public schools must allow transgender students to use the bathroom and locker facilities that correspond with their identified gender, stating that, on the prospect of the federal government withholding funding for Texas schools for not following the directive, "he can keep his 30 pieces of silver [and that w]e will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States."[47][48][49]

Patrick supported and strongly advocated for a bathroom bill proposed on January 5, 2017 by Senator Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham.[50]

Patrick made legislation prohibiting state or local governments from issuing subpoenas on pastors' sermons a priority in the 2017 session.[51] Governor Abbott signed the bill into law on May 21, 2017.[51]

Political positions[edit]


Patrick opposes abortion and supported Texas' "Mandatory Ultrasound Bill", a bill signed into law in May 2011 by Governor Perry, which requires women seeking abortion to have a sonogram of the fetus taken at least twenty-four hours before the abortion is performed.[citation needed]

Patrick opposes abortion in cases of incest and rape. In January 2014, when he was asked about exceptions to outlawing abortion, Patrick said, “The only exception would be if the life of the mother was truly in danger…but that is rare.” [52]


Patrick supports increasing the number of charter schools in the state.[53]

In February 2011, Patrick, who at the time was vice chairman of the Texas senate's Committee on Education, spoke in favor of cutting an unspecified number of non-teaching positions from the state's public school districts, citing positions such as "math department supervisors" or "curriculum experts".[54][55] At the time, Patrick cited a statistic later determined to be misleading by PolitiFact.com that Texas's 1,200+ public school districts, considered as a group, are the fifth-largest employer in the world.[56]

Patrick is on record as determined to establish creationism within the public school curriculum in Texas, despite court rulings that such a policy would violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.[57]

Fiscal conservatism[edit]

Patrick identifies the experience of his personal bankruptcy as having shaped his conservatism in fiscal policy.[10] Patrick joined with restaurateur Edd Hendee and Paul Bettencourt, the former Harris County tax assessor-collector and Patrick's successor in the state Senate, both on-air hosts on Patrick's station, to form Citizens Lowering Our Unfair Taxes (CLOUT), a political organization that was originally formed to push for lower property taxes in Texas.[citation needed]

Illegal immigration[edit]

Patrick opposes illegal immigration. As a talk radio host, he reserved some of his "most hard-edged oratory for illegal immigrants."[8] Patrick expressed support for Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration enforcement law, and supports passing a similar law in Texas that would allow local law enforcement to ask lawfully-stopped individuals about their immigration status and would make it a state misdemeanor to be present in Texas as an illegal immigrant.[53]

As Lieutenant Governor, Patrick moved to keep National Guard troops sent to the Texas-Mexico border during the illegal immigration surge of 2014 indefinitely, rather than until March 2015, as originally planned.[58] Patrick's 2015 budget in the Texas Senate called for spending $815 million on border security, which he said was more than the previous seven years combined.[58] Governor Greg Abbott signed the measure—for about $800 million—into law.[59]

Same-sex marriage and LGBT issues[edit]

On February 26, 2014, following a federal court ruling the Texas ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, Patrick asserted his position that marriage is a union between one man and one woman. He then further stated his intentions to fight such decisions should he be elected to the Lt. Governor's office.[60][61]

Patrick strongly opposed HERO, an unsuccessful Houston ordinance intended to establish legal protections for gay and transgender residents along with some other classes, as he claimed that the ordinance would lead to sexual predators being freely able to enter women's restrooms.[62][63] Patrick has stated that if necessary, he would support legislation to require people to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender listed on their birth certificates.[64]

Hours after the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, Patrick tweeted a picture of the Bible verse, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Galatians 6:7." An adviser released a statement that the tweet had been pre-scheduled. The tweet was later deleted.[65][66]

Patrick encouraged state Senator Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham to introduce a bathroom bill similar to a previous law adopted in 2016 in North Carolina, and strongly pushed for it at its proposal on January 5, 2017.[50] Texas House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio, a moderate Republican, said that the measure is not an important matter for lower chamber.[50][67]

Domestic partner benefits[edit]

In November 2012, Patrick asked Texas attorney general Greg Abbott's office to issue an opinion on the constitutionality of government entities providing domestic partner insurance benefits. An amendment to the Texas Constitution in 2005 limits marriage to heterosexual relationships and prohibits similar, alternative legal arrangements. Patrick did not disclose his own views on same-sex marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples. He told the Houston Chronicle that his request was prompted by Dallas County's November 2012 decision and an Austin-area public school district's October 2012 decision to join other Texas cities and counties in extending benefits to their unmarried employees' heterosexual or homosexual partners.[68]

Statutory rape laws[edit]

Patrick was interviewed extensively on ABC's 20/20 segment "The Age of Consent: When Young Love Is a Sex Crime," defending his position favoring very tough Texas statutory rape laws. "While it seems unfair, he was 19, she was 15," says Patrick, "That's the price you pay. Even if you end up getting married."[69]

Confederate monuments[edit]

Patrick is a strong supporter of maintaining Confederate monuments on public display, despite opposition from civil rights groups who consider the statues as a defense of the institution of slavery. As one of six members of the board that oversees the Texas State Capitol grounds, Patrick described the need: "to learn from history all of our history, including events and times that many would like to forget. ... Our goal should be to have a meaningful dialogue for future generations so those moments in our history are not repeated."[70]

Presidential politics[edit]

Patrick endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz for the 2016 Republican presidential primaries and served as his Texas campaign chairman.[71] After businessman Donald Trump became the Republican nominee, Patrick endorsed Trump and eventually became the Texas state chairman for his campaign.[72] Trump won Texas by 9 percentage points, the closest result since 1996.[73]

Personal life[edit]

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick at the Republican State Convention in Dallas, Texas, in May 2016.

Patrick's first marriage ended in divorce. His second wife is Janetlea "Jan" Patricia Rankin, a former teacher. The couple was married in 1975 and lives in the Houston suburb of Cypress. They have two children, Ryan and Shane.[3][74] Ryan served as a district judge from Harris County, Texas, and swore in his father in 2015, for his term as lieutenant governor of Texas.[38] In July 2017, Ryan Patrick was chosen to be U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas by U.S. President Donald Trump.[75]

Religious views[edit]

Patrick, an evangelical Christian, is a member of various Christian organizations, including Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the International Bible Society, and has served as guest pastor of his church.[76] He is outspoken about his Christian faith,[8] and he stated on his inauguration as lieutenant governor that "I respect all faiths and religions, but I am a Christian first, a conservative second and a Republican third, and I praise Jesus for this moment and this day."[38]

Electoral history[edit]


Texas lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2014[77]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Patrick 2,718,406 58.13
Democratic Leticia Van de Putte 1,810,720 38.72
Libertarian Robert Butler 119,581 2.55
Green Chandra Courtney 27,651 0.59
Majority 907,686 19.41%
Total votes 4,676,358 100
Voter turnout 33.34%
Republican hold
Republican primary runoff results, May 27, 2014: Lieutenant Governor of Texas[78]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Patrick 488,150 65.04
Republican David Dewhurst – Incumbent 262,303 34.95
Total votes 750,453 100
Republican primary results, March 4, 2014: Lieutenant Governor of Texas
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Patrick 552,692 41.43
Republican David Dewhurst - Incumbent 377,856 28.33
Republican Todd Staples 236,949 17.76
Republican Jerry Patterson 166,399 12.47
Total votes 1,333,896 100.00


Texas general election, 2010: Senate District 7
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Dan Patrick - Incumbent 184,704 86.41
Libertarian Lee Coughran 29,048 13.59
Majority 155,656 72.82
Turnout 213,752
Republican hold


Texas general election, 2006: Senate District 7[79]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Dan Patrick 118,067 69.19
Democratic F. Michael Kubosh 52,586 30.81
Majority 65,481 38.37
Turnout 170,653
Republican hold
Republican primary, 2006: Senate District 7[80]
Candidate Votes % ±
Mark Ellis 2,545 6.07
Peggy Hamric 6,900 16.45
Joe Nixon 3,629 8.65
Dan Patrick 28,860 68.82
Turnout 41,934


See also[edit]


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  4. ^ Dan Patrick wins GOP nomination for Texas lieutenant governor -Terrence Stutz and Robert Garrett, Dallas Morning News
  5. ^ San Antonio Express News, April 17, 2014
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External links[edit]

Texas Senate
Preceded by
Jon Lindsay
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 7th district

Succeeded by
Paul Bettencourt
Political offices
Preceded by
David Dewhurst
Lieutenant Governor of Texas