Flanked by representatives of the Texas business community, state Sen. Dan Patrick, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, touted his business credentials on Friday while painting his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, as bad for business.
“There’s not a debate, there’s not an argument, there’s not a discussion on who the business community is supporting” in this race, Patrick said during a press conference in Austin, adding that he’s obtained dozens of endorsements from prominent Texas business groups. He announced that he has picked up an endorsement from the Texas chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business.
In response to Patrick’s claims, Van de Putte spokesman Manny Garcia went after the Republican senator’s voting record on school finance. In 2011, Patrick voted for a state budget that cut billions of dollars from public schools.
“Dan Patrick’s education cuts are bad for Texans, and bad for business,” Garcia said, adding that the reduction in education spending led to the loss of thousands of teacher jobs.
Patrick’s press conference was the first he’s hosted since winning his primary runoff election against Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst in May. In recent days, Patrick has garnered criticism for maintaining a low profile since the runoff.
Patrick responded to that criticism on Friday, arguing that he has spent his time participating in more than 1,300 meetings with members of the business community.
“Over the last couple of months, I have been the hardest-working guy on the campaign trail,” Patrick said.