The November election is now just a few weeks away.
It’s more or less a given that Republican Greg Abbott will be elected governor over Democrat Wendy Davis.
It’s less of a given — but still somewhat likely — that Republican Dan Patrick defeat Democrat Leticia Van de Putte in the race for lieutenant governor.
The lieutenant governor’s race arguably is more important, given that the lieutenant governor presides over the Texas Senate and controls legislative flow from the upper chamber. So I’m watching this one with a keen sense of anticipation.
That said, I’m still waiting for an announcement that Patrick is coming to the Texas Panhandle to look for votes. It’s not that he needs the Panhandle, the most reliably Republican region in a most reliably Republican state.
My taste for political drama also is wondering whether state Sen. Kel Seliger will join Patrick on a dais at, say, the Tri-State Fair. Seliger is an Amarillo Republican who serves with Patrick in the Senate, as he does with Van de Putte.
Here’s what I know about Seliger’s relationship with Patrick: It’s not good. Patrick is being counseled heavily by Michael Quinn Sullivan, who Seliger more or less detests. He’s said so openly. His very own primary challenger, Mike Canon of Midland, is a Sullivan disciple who touted the tea party rhetoric that has become so popular among Texas Republicans. Seliger would have none of it.
Seliger is enough of a loyal Republican that he wouldn’t dare endorse Van de Putte openly, in public. There’s no telling how he’s going to vote once he gets the chance to cast his ballot.
He also is enough of a so-called “establishment Republican” to loathe many of the tea party faithful’s unwillingness to work with Democrats. Indeed, Patrick himself has laid down that marker by suggesting that if he’s elected lieutenant governor he’ll steer away from picking Senate Democrats to chair committees, which David Dewhurst has done while he’s been lieutenant governor.
The prospect of a Lt. Gov. Patrick taking office in January is going to make serving in the Senate a lot less fun for Seliger than it has been to date.
And for that reason, I remain fairly certain we aren’t going to see the two men slapping each other on the back when Patrick comes calling on the Panhandle for voters’ support.