Patterson, a former state senator, followed Dewhurst as Land Commissioner and wants to follow him again. Other Republicans have expressed interest in the post, including Comptroller Susan Combs and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples. Combs was previously a state representative. Staples, like Patterson, is a former state senator. He announced his exploratory committee for lieutenant governor in April.
Here is Patterson's press release:
Texas Land Commissioner and former State Senator Jerry Patterson today confirmed he is officially running for the office of Lieutenant Governor in 2014. Current Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst today announced his intention to seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison.
“Since first considering this race in January,” said Patterson, “I’ve encountered strong support across Texas for my campaign. Texans know I have a proven track record on issues vital to our state and a unique brand of leadership to get it done.”
“Texas is ready for a leader that isn’t afraid to take on the tough issues,” Patterson said. “Whether bringing jobs to Texas, defending Texas values or standing up to an intrusive federal government, I never shy away from a fight.”
As State Senator from Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties, Patterson established a record as a strong defender of individual liberties, including his passage of the Texas Concealed Handgun Law in 1995. His ardent support of the Second Amendment has made him a nationally-recognized defender of the right to keep and bear arms.
As Land Commissioner, Patterson has managed over $6 billion in state assets on behalf of the Permanent School Fund, the state trust fund for public education. Since 2002, he has earned more for the PSF than any previous Land Commissioner, strengthening and diversifying the fund by expanding into real estate investments and renewable energy. Patterson has staunchly defended oil and gas exploration while being the first in the nation to sign a lease for offshore wind energy in 2006.
As Chairman of the Texas Veterans Land Board, he has also overseen the largest expansion of benefits for Texas veterans in half a century, all without taxpayer dollars. In 2008 alone, his administration provided a record-breaking billion dollars in home loans to help veterans buy their share of the American Dream.
A former Marine aviator and Vietnam veteran with a military career of more than two decades, Patterson often cites his family’s legacy of service. Five generations of his family have served their nation in time of war, including his son Travis, a Marine attack helicopter pilot who served two tours in Iraq and is preparing to serve in Afghanistan.
First elected statewide as Texas Land Commissioner in 2002 – coincidentally following Dewhurst in that position – Patterson has won statewide office two more times, building on a strong following with veterans, gun owners and independent, liberty-loving Texans. There are approximately 1.7 million veterans and half a million concealed handgun license holders in Texas.
Patterson cited this longtime support from recognized statewide voting blocs as keys to his victory in 2014.
“I’m an Aggie, a veteran, a gun owner and a Texan that doesn’t like being told that government knows best,” Patterson said. “I’m not some carefully crafted candidate managed by handlers and consultants. I say what I mean and do what I say. That is my only platform.”
From driving a vintage ’51 Ford pickup across East Texas, appearing as a Texian defender in the 2004 movie “The Alamo,” to flying his World War II warbird to campaign stops, Patterson is known as a unique Texas leader recalling the days of LBJ or Governor “Pappy” Lee O’Daniel. His trademark acerbic wit has made him a favorite amongst Republican stalwarts and liberal bloggers alike.
Commenting on his once again seeking a statewide office being vacated by Dewhurst, who defeated him for Land Commissioner in 1998, Patterson joked, “I’d follow that man anywhere
Texas Monthly once described Patterson as a “an all-too-rare type of politician: an unpolished, fearless, what-you-see-is-what-you-get overachiever.” Patterson’s national exposure has included the Rush Limbaugh show, the Sean Hannity show, ABC’s Nightline, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC among others.
Patterson’s official campaign website can be found at http://www.votepatterson.com. The campaign can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Patterson is the 27th Texas Land Commissioner. A Vietnam veteran and retired Lt. Colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve, Patterson is a former State Senator and author of several major laws, including the Concealed Handgun Law, the Texas Home Equity Freedom Act and the Texas Coastal Management Plan.