WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, after getting a standing ovation by the Texas Republican delegation in Florida, announced Tuesday that he plans to run for re-election.

“I fully expect to be running for re-election in March of 2014,” Dewhurst said.

“As long as the people of Texas want me to continue serving to help move this state forward, then I’m honored.”

He wouldn't be alone. Three statewide elected Republicans — Comptroller Susan Combs, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples — have all expressed some interest in running for lieutenant governor. Patterson said he will run in 2014 whether Dewhurst is on the ticket or not — and wondered out loud if the incumbent would bow out by then.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

"I'm not absolutely sure that he's absolutely sure," Patterson said.

Dewhurst made the remarks to reporters at the Saddlebrook Resort, home of the Texas delegation at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. During his brief speech beforehand, Dewhurst also signaled that he would help his former rival, Republican U.S. Senate nominee Ted Cruz, win his race against Democrat Paul Sadler.

“We’ve got to leave this convention united,” Dewhurst said.

Texas Republican Party chairman Steve Munisteri said Dewhurst’s public embrace of Cruz was probably hard to do — but helpful to the party in November. He said any delegates with bruised feelings from the primary should put them aside now.

“There’s no excuse for anyone not to get behind our entire ticket,” he said.

The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Munisteri said Dewhurst remains a formidable political figures despite his defeat in the Senate race. But two years can be a lifetime in politics.

“I think he would be a strong for whatever he decides to do. He’s still the sitting lieutenant governor. He’s still well known. He is still a force in the party," Munisteri said. "There’s a lot of time between now and 2014.  There’s a lot of time for people's stock to go up, and there’s a lot of time for people's stock to go down.”

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.