A conservative advocacy group influential with a key faction of the Republican Party on Friday endorsed state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, in the race for lieutenant governor.

Texans for Fiscal Responsibility announced it would back the Houston Republican, who is among three candidates vying to unseat Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. The group said it supported Patrick because of his record "of advocating for practical, reform-minded policies supported by Texans, even if opposed by the special interests in Austin." 

Michael Quinn Sullivan, the group's president, said that Patrick was the "best of a strong group," but that the choice came down to "recent experience in demonstrating a willingness" to fight for conservative values. 

The endorsement is among the heftier ones to land so far in the race, which also includes Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson. Earlier this week, former state Republican Party Chairwoman and Texas Eagle Forum President Cathie Adams, a prominent social conservative, tipped her hat to Dewhurst.

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