Patrick Svitek Reporter

Patrick Svitek is a reporter for the Texas Tribune. He previously worked for the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau. He graduated in 2014 from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He originally is from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Recent Contributions

Castro brothers confront Trump era

Julián and Joaquin Castro speak to media during the Texas Democratic Convention on June 17, 2016.
Julián and Joaquin Castro speak to media during the Texas Democratic Convention on June 17, 2016.

Donald Trump's upset victory left many in both parties shocked, upending their best-laid plans for after the election. Among them are rising Texas Democratic stars Julián and Joaquin Castro.

Gov. Abbott demands Travis County reverse new "sanctuary" policy

Gov. Greg Abbott and Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez.
Gov. Greg Abbott and Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez.

Gov. Greg Abbott is formally demanding that Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez reverse her new policy on cooperation with federal immigration authorities or lose state dollars, further escalating a showdown over "sanctuary cities" that have been in the crosshairs of Republican officials. 

On "bathroom bill," Greg Abbott staying neutral as pressure builds

Gov. Greg Abbott acknowledges the crowd of business leaders and educators following his speech Sept. 19, 2016 to the Texas Education & Workforce Summit luncheon on campus.
Gov. Greg Abbott acknowledges the crowd of business leaders and educators following his speech Sept. 19, 2016 to the Texas Education & Workforce Summit luncheon on campus.

Two weeks after the high-profile legislation was unveiled in the Texas Senate, Gov. Greg Abbott maintained his largely neutral stance on the "bathroom bill" Thursday as pressure builds on him to weigh in.

Trump picks Perdue for agriculture secretary, passing over 4 Texans

(L-R) Former state Comptroller Susan Combs, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, former U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla and former Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano.
(L-R) Former state Comptroller Susan Combs, Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, former U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla and former Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano.

President-elect Donald Trump has picked former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to be agriculture secretary, bypassing four Texans who had been seen as candidates for the job.

Joe Straus: Legislators need to be careful when it comes to "bathroom bill"

Rep. Joe Straus makes remarks after being being sworn in for his fifth term as speaker of the Texas House on Jan. 10, 2017.
Rep. Joe Straus makes remarks after being being sworn in for his fifth term as speaker of the Texas House on Jan. 10, 2017.

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus told the Texas Association of Business that the "bathroom bill," a priority for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, was not his most urgent concern for the 85th Legislative Session.

Ted Cruz urges Texas Legislature to focus on school choice

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz talks with Sen. John Cornyn and Brooke Rollins, president and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, during a TPPF Orientation conference on January 13, 2017 at the Sheraton Hotel in Austin.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz talks with Sen. John Cornyn and Brooke Rollins, president and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, during a TPPF Orientation conference on January 13, 2017 at the Sheraton Hotel in Austin.

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz urged state lawmakers Friday to take on school choice this session, adding his voice to what is likely to be a tough battle for education reformers under the Pink Dome. 

Ken Paxton's lawyers fight SEC's efforts to subpoena 15 others in fraud investigation

AG Paxton is joined by Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston and Rep. Senfronia Thompson D-Houston at a press conference to recognize January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month on January 12, 2017.
AG Paxton is joined by Sen. Joan Huffman R-Houston and Rep. Senfronia Thompson D-Houston at a press conference to recognize January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month on January 12, 2017.

Lawyers for Attorney General Ken Paxton argue the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is scrambling to save its civil securities fraud case against him. Paxton is headed to trial in May on similar criminal charges at the state level.

Attorney General Ken Paxton's trial on fraud charges to begin May 1

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton holds a press conference on June 9, 2016 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to discuss the filing of a lawsuit against the state of Delaware
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton holds a press conference on June 9, 2016 in front of the U.S. Supreme Court to discuss the filing of a lawsuit against the state of Delaware

Attorney General Ken Paxton is accused of misleading investors in a company from before his time as Texas’ top law enforcement official. His trial is scheduled to start on May 1, according to a recent court order.

Timeline: Attorney General Ken Paxton's Legal Saga

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is shown at a news conference in Austin on Jan. 13, 2016, to announce a new unit of the attorney general’s office dedicated to combating human trafficking.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is shown at a news conference in Austin on Jan. 13, 2016, to announce a new unit of the attorney general’s office dedicated to combating human trafficking.

This week, a judge scheduled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s trial on criminal securities fraud for May 1. Use this timeline to to keep up with the legal and political drama.