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Jerry E. Patterson

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Jerry Patterson
27th Land Commissioner of Texas
In office
January 21, 2003 – January 2, 2015
GovernorRick Perry
Preceded byDavid Dewhurst
Succeeded byGeorge P. Bush
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 11th district
In office
Preceded byChet Brooks
Succeeded byMike Jackson
Personal details
Born (1946-11-15) November 15, 1946 (age 77)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Residence(s)Austin, Texas, U.S.
EducationTexas A&M University (BA)
Military service
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Years of service1971–1993
RankLieutenant Colonel
Battles/warsVietnam War

Jerry Emmett Patterson (born November 15, 1946) is an American politician who served as the commissioner of the Texas General Land Office from 2003 to 2015. A former state senator, he was the second Republican since Reconstruction to serve as land commissioner, a post which he held for three terms. He served from the Houston area in District 11 in the Texas Senate from 1993 to 1999.

Patterson did not immediately seek a fourth term as land commissioner. He was instead an unsuccessful Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Texas in the primary election held on March 4, 2014, losing to Dan Patrick. In 2018, he ran again for land commissioner, losing to incumbent George P. Bush in the Republican primary.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Patterson was born to Jerry Patterson and the former Georgia Lee Scheaffer in Houston.[2] He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history.


In 1972, he volunteered for duty in Vietnam. He was later designated a naval flight officer in Pensacola, Florida, and he served in Marine fighter squadrons until his retirement from the Marine Corps Reserve as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1993.[3]

In 1984, Patterson ran for Texas' 25th congressional district. He faced freshman Democratic Representative Michael A. Andrews and lost, 64 to 36 percent.

In 1992, Patterson won election to the Texas Senate, serving from 1993 to 1999. During his tenure, he introduced a successful bill to allow concealed carry of firearms. A 2012 New York Times article described Patterson regularly wearing a gun on his ankle and a second in the small of his back.[3]

In March 1998, Patterson lost the Republican primary for land commissioner to David Dewhurst, also from Houston. Dewhurst led with 265,363 votes (51.2 percent). Patterson trailed with 216,250 votes (41.7 percent), and a third candidate, Don Loucks, held the remaining 36,706 votes (7.1 percent).[4]

In the 2002 Republican primary for Texas land commissioner, Patterson defeated Kenn George of Dallas, a member of the Texas House of Representatives from District 108 and an assistant United States Secretary of Commerce in the administration of U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan.[5] In the general election, Patterson was opposed by Democratic State Senator David Bernsen of Beaumont.[6] Patterson defeated him with 53.2% of the vote to Bernsen's 41.5%.[7] In April 2003, Patterson was sworn into office, succeeding his one-time primary rival David Dewhurst; Dewhurst had left office to successfully run for Lieutenant Governor of Texas.[8]

In 2010, Patterson entered into a highly public dispute with Texas State Representative Wayne Christian over an amendment Christian had introduced to rebuild his vacation home after Hurricane Ike. Patterson threatened to force the legislature to impeach him before he would enforce the provision, telling the Houston Chronicle, "My option is just to say, 'Screw you, Wayne Christian,' because the Legislature didn't pass this, one guy passed this."[9][3]

Race for lieutenant governor[edit]

In July 2011, Patterson announced that he would run for lieutenant governor in 2014. Patterson in 2012 endorsed three-term incumbent Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, who ran for the United States Senate.[10][11] However, Dewhurst was defeated by former Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz in the Republican primary runoff election on July 31, 2012.

In his race for lieutenant governor, Patterson polled 165,787 votes (12.5 percent) and ran last among the four candidates.[12] After his last place finish, Patterson dumped a ton of opposition research on Patrick to the media, including medical records.[13]

Later campaigns[edit]

Patterson said that even had he won, the 2014 race would have been his last campaign because he is "more concerned about the next generation [than] ... about the next election."[14]

In 2015, he considered but decided against a run for an open seat on the Texas Railroad Commission, citing the likely electoral backlash against his personal opposition to Republican presidential frontrunner, Donald Trump.[15]

In 2018, he ran for another term in his previous position, Texas Commissioner of the General Land Office. He opposed incumbent George P. Bush, a grandson of President George H. W. Bush, in the Republican primary. Patterson charged that Bush's agency had repaired only two homes in the months following Hurricane Harvey and criticized his plan to renovate the Alamo historic site.[16][17] Politifact rated Patterson's criticism of Bush's Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts as "Mostly True" but an "oversimplification."[16] Bush outraised Patterson significantly, with more than $1.5 million in campaign contributions to Patterson's $107,000.[1] Bush defeated Patterson and two other candidates in the March 6, 2018 primary. Bush received 58.2% of the vote to Patterson's 29.7%, avoiding a run-off.[1]

Electoral history[edit]

2018 Texas General Land Commissioner Republican Primary Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican George P. Bush (Incumbent) 859,209 58.2
Republican Jerry Patterson 438,346 29.7
Republican Davey Edwards 101,074 6.8
Republican Rick Range 77,936 5.3
2014 Texas Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Dan Patrick 550,769 41.45
Republican David Dewhurst (Incumbent) 376,196 28.31
Republican Todd Staples 235,981 17.75
Republican Jerry Patterson 165,787 12.47
2010 Texas General Land Commissioner General Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jerry Patterson (Incumbent) 3,001,736 61.7
Democratic Hector Uribe 1,717,518 35.3
Libertarian James Holdar 148,271 3
2006 Texas General Land Commissioner General Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jerry Patterson (Incumbent) 2,317,554 55.1
Democratic VaLinda Hathcox 1,721,964 41
Libertarian Michael French 164,098 3.9
2002 Texas General Land Commissioner General Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jerry Patterson 2,331,700 53.2
Democratic David Bernsen 1,819,365 41.5
Libertarian Barbara Hernandez 180,870 4.1
Green Michael McInerney 54,130 1.2
2002 Texas General Land Commissioner Republican Primary Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jerry Patterson 328,523 56.5
Republican Kenn George 252,802 43.5
1998 Texas General Land Commissioner Republican Primary Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Dewhurst 265,363 51.2
Republican Jerry Patterson 216,250 41.7
Republican Don Loucks 36,706 7
1994 Texas State Senate District 11 General Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jerry Patterson (Incumbent) 73,959 55.61
Democratic Mike Martin 59,047 44.39
1992 Texas State Senate District 11 General Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Jerry Patterson 98,671 49.21
Democratic Chet Brooks (Incumbent) 92,702 46.24
Libertarian Marshall Anderson 9,121 4.55
1984 Texas U.S. Congressional District 25 General Election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Mike Andrews (Incumbent) 113,946 64
Republican Jerry Patterson 63,974 36

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Allbright, Claire. "George P. Bush wins Republican primary race for Texas land commissioner." Texas Tribune. Mar. 6, 2018.
  2. ^ Texas Department of State Health Services, Vital Records (1946-11-15). "Birth Certificate for Jerry Emmett Patterson" (Third party index of birth records for Harris County). Rootsweb.com. Retrieved 2007-01-03.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c Fernandez, Manny. "Old-Time Texas Politician, Verbally Quick on the Draw." The New York Times. June 13, 2012. Accessed April 4, 2018.
  4. ^ "Texas Republican primary election returns, March 10, 1998". elections.sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. Retrieved March 30, 2011.
  5. ^ Clay Robison. "George Announces Run for Land Commissioner." Houston Chronicle. June 21, 2001. Accessed April 4, 2018.
  6. ^ Charles Richard. "Patterson, Bernsen stage friendly race for land commissioner." Houston Chronicle. October 24, 2002. Accessed April 4, 2018.
  7. ^ "TX Land Commissioner Results." Our Campaigns. Accessed April 4, 2018.
  8. ^ Associated Press Writer. "Patterson sworn in as Texas Land Commissioner." Plainview Daily. April 2, 2003. Accessed April 4, 2018.
  9. ^ Harvey Rice and Matt Stiles. "Lawmaker has himself in mind on exemption for Bolivar land". The Houston Chronicle. June 4, 2009. Accessed April 4, 2018.
  10. ^ Texas Insider » PATTERSON Says, “I support my fellow veteran David Dewhurst.” Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ The Dallas Morning News | Options Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Republican primary election returns". team1.sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
  13. ^ Hooks, Christopher (March 2018). "George P. Bush's Last Stand at the Alamo". Texas Monthly. Austin, Texas. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  14. ^ "Beth Brown, "GOP lieutenant governor candidates reach out to Bryan-College Station voters," January 9, 2013". Bryan-College Station Eagle. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  15. ^ Malewitz, Jim. "Patterson, Declining to Run for Railroad Commission, Knocks Trump." Texas Tribune. Dec. 14, 2015.
  16. ^ a b Selby, W. Gardner. "Charge that George P. Bush-led agency has repaired two homes since Hurricane Harvey oversimplifies." Politifact. Dec. 21, 2017.
  17. ^ Allbright, Claire. "Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s primary opponents are making their last stand at the Alamo." Texas Tribune. March 1, 2018.

External links[edit]

Texas Senate
Preceded by Texas State Senator
from District 11 (Pasadena)(1)

Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office
Succeeded by
Notes and references
1. For the 73rd Legislature, Patterson's home city was Houston.