Dan Patrick, Texas Ranger

OK, but what's their position on Medicaid expansion?
OK, but what's their position on Medicaid expansion? YouTube

The next lt. governor is going to have a lot of serious problems. The public education system has been weakened and tarnished by years of cuts and legislative meddling, and the transportation system is running out of money, even while the property tax-heavy tax structure in Texas has reached a breaking point. We might be on the verge of a taxpayer revolt—but without the strong government services to show for it.

Hospitals are clamoring for Medicaid expansion, while many doctors are dead-set against it, and the poor are left to suffer. At some point, the lt. governor is probably going to have to help broker a new model for public education financing, thanks to the courts—one of the most difficult things the Legislature ever has to do, a task Solomon himself would have trouble with. And he or she is going to have to tackle all of that at a time when every statewide official is new, and with a lot of new senators besides.

So naturally, Dan Patrick’s first general election ad opens with the Islamic State:

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There was a fun period of time after the primary runoff where people hoped Patrick might be moderating his public profile. The debate was one datapoint, but I think we can safely dispose of that dream now.

Christopher Hooks is a freelance journalist in Austin.

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Published at 11:23 am CST
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