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Jerry Patterson Takes Aim at Dan Patrick, Shoots Self in Face

by Published on
This is where we're at now.
This is where we're at now.

The Russian playwright Anton Chekhov once wrote that a gun introduced in the first act must be fired in the third, and apparently the same holds true for gun-toting land commissioners. Remember Jerry Patterson, the gun-carrying, libertarian-minded iconoclast who waged his own odd fight for the Republican lieutenant governor primary nod before placing a distant fourth? He warned after the election that he didn’t yet know if he was going to endorse anybody, but added that he couldn’t, in good conscience, support a “liar.” He meant Dan Patrick, with whom Patterson had sparred over issues of trust and truthfulness. Then, for a little over a month, silence from the House of Patterson.

But this morning, two weeks before the May 27th runoff election, Patterson returned. Bearing what the kids call a listicle, naturally. And an accusation so serious, and so loaded, that Dewhurst would have been unwise to make it himself. (It turns out Patterson probably shouldn’t have, either.)

Patterson’s top ten reasons not to vote for Patrick included some pretty standard digs. Patrick is a liar. Democrats want to run against Patrick. But No. 3—that Dan Patrick is a draft dodger—was new. What a bombshell.

Patterson gave the press a carefully-annotated list of reasons to question Patrick’s lack of service in the era of military conscription. He was born in 1950. He had a relatively low draft number. And a student deferment wouldn’t have prevented him from serving eventually. This was a weighty charge coming from Patterson, a proud Marine aviator who volunteered to serve in Vietnam.

Wow. This could change the race. What say you, Dan?

In 1972, after being drafted, Dan reported for a physical examination to Fort Holabird in Baltimore, Maryland. Dan was quickly determined medically ineligible to serve due to childhood injuries. Dan had broken his right leg twice due to a bone cyst and doctors thought it might cause him to lose the limb. He also had suffered a serious knee injury while playing high school sports. These injuries prevented him from being accepted into the service and he received a medical deferment.

Whoops!

Did Dewhurst’s team vet Patterson’s allegations before the press conference, or was he on his own? Either way, the inability of Patrick’s Republican enemies to shoot straight continues to be wholly remarkable.

Meanwhile, David Dewhurst is joining Ron Paul’s ReLOVEution. So there’s that.

Christopher Hooks joined the Observer in 2014. Previously, he was a freelance journalist in Austin, where he grew up. His work has appeared in Politico Magazine, Slate, and Texas Monthly, among others. He graduated from The New School in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in history.

  • 1bimbo

    this opinion piece missed the point, the dewhurst camp just inherited all of patterson’s voters, what’s the math on that?

    • Borderhawk

      Patterson’s voters aren’t all going to vote for Dewhurst. Some of them will stay home and some will vote for Dan Patrick. Especially after a false attack and Ron Paul’s tweet about Chris Kyle. Patterson did not help himself when he claimed Leticia Van De Putte could win. Any serious person can tell Leticia Van De Putte is going to lose by double digits. Hispanics are only 20% of voters who bother to turn out in Texas. Van De Putte is going to have to explain whether she supports affirmative action. Dan Patrick will get 80% of the white vote and 20 or 30% of the Hispanic vote and still win by a big margin.

      • 1bimbo

        careful, your ‘race math’ will fail you in texas

  • Radman414

    Do NOT bet that Mr. Dewhurst inherited all of Jerry’s voters. I voted for Jerry, but I also remember the very dirty campaign that the Lt. Governor ran against Sen. Cruz, who I also supported. The historical name change (not for the alleged reason Dewhurst claimed) and the “draft dodger” charges have both been shown to be “pants-on-fire” allegations…desperate attempts to narrow the gap that Dan Patrick achieved in the primary.