Dan Patrick

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Dan Goeb Patrick

Lieutenant Governor of Texas
Assumed office 
January 20, 2015
Preceded by David Dewhurst

Texas State Senator for
the 7th district (Harris County)
In office
January 9, 2007 – January 13, 2015
Preceded by Jon Lindsay
Succeeded by Paul Bettencourt

Born April 4, 1950
Baltimore, Maryland
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) (1) Divorced

(2) Jan Patrick (married 1975)

Children Two children, including:

Ryan Kelley Goeb Patrick

Religion Southern Baptist

Dan Goeb Patrick (born Dannie Scott Goeb;[1] April 4, 1950[2]) is the 42nd lieutenant governor of Texas, serving since January 2015 and winning his third term in November 2022. Before that, he was a sportscaster and a conservative talk radio host. Like Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and many Texas state legislators, Patrick is controlled by the Texas oligarchy that is right-of-center on fiscal issues but not conservative. Patrick is a Southern Baptist.

The sham ambush impeachment of conservative Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on May 27, 2023, unmasked the Republican officials, including Patrick, who are beholden to the Texas oligarchy that demanded it. Patrick immediately appointed the oligarchs' point man in the Senate, Sen. Brian Birdwell, as the chairman of the rules committee for the Senate impeachment trial.

Early life and career

Patrick was born April 4, 1950, in Baltimore, Maryland.[2] Patrick graduated from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.[3]

Starting with a radio job in 1968, Patrick held several positions in radio and television in his life.[1][3] As a broadcaster, Patrick was able to get attention through various stunts, such as painting himself blue in support for the Houston Oilers and wearing a large cowboy hat.[4][5] He became the second most popular TV personality in Houston by 1983.[4][5] Patrick also had excellent public speaking skills, which caused him to be nicknamed "the Silver-tongued Devil."[4]

During the 1980s, Patrick and several investors opened one of the first sports bars in the U.S., which they named Dan and Nick's Sportsmarket.[4][5] The bar did well for a time, due to "the strength of Patrick’s personality"[4] and an oil boom in Houston at the time, and they eventually took ownership of five sports bars in the city.[4][5] The chain, however, was fatally hurt after the oil boom ended and Houston's economy experienced a downturn,[4][5] and Patrick went bankrupt in 1986.[6] The ordeal of bankruptcy would shape Patrick as a conservative and a Christian.[6]

Conservative talk show host

Soon after his bankruptcy, Patrick "reinvented himself,"[3] becoming a conservative talk radio host in the 1990s.[6] He began by buying a four-hour timeslot at KSEV and originally was a sports talk host, operating out of his remaining sports bar.[4][5] However, he was able to take over the radio station in 1988, and he switched to politics shortly afterward.[4][5]

Patrick grew very successful and influential through his talk radio career[3][6] and earned high name recognition.[3] As a talk radio host, Patrick promoted consistent conservative Christian views, and he became a very vocal opponent of illegal immigration.[3] Patrick's talk radio career was instrumental to Patrick's political rise, including his election and influence in the State Senate and his eventual election as lieutenant governor.[4][5] He was also known as a populist.[5] One notable decision Patrick made as the owner of a talk radio program was to sign Rush Limbaugh, who was not well known at the time, on his radio station.[6]

By February 2006, Patrick already owned one radio station.[3] In 2006, Patrick signed a deal to purchase the radio station KMGS AM 1160 in Highland Park, Texas.[7] By 2013, Patrick was the majority owner of two radio stations, in Houston and Dallas.[6] Patrick continued broadcasting after his election as a State Senator, and he continued to own KSEV after his election as lieutenant governor.[5]

Texas State Senate

Due to his influential career in talk radio, Patrick gained large name recognition.[6] He considered running for Congress in 2004.[1]

In 2006, Patrick was first elected to the Texas Senate in 2006, receiving almost 70 percent of the vote in the general election.[8] Patrick quickly built up a conservative record. Shortly after the 2010 elections, where the GOP received record election gains, Patrick announced, and subsequently created, a Tea Party Caucus in the Texas legislature, which at its creation has 48 legislators as members.[9]

Lieutenant Governor of Texas

2014 election

Patrick ran for Texas lieutenant governor in the 2014 elections, challenging the Republican incumbent David Dewhurst. Patrick stated that while he had been planning on retiring from politics after his Senate term ended, he decided to run for lieutenant governor after Dewhurst unsuccessfully tried to end then state Senator Wendy Davis's filibuster of the pro-life Texas Senate Bill 5 – showing his weakness – and after another fellow Senator, Jane Nelson, refused to run herself.[10] Patrick ran as a Tea Party conservative, while Dewhurst was the establishment candidate.[11] Dewhurst and Patrick went to a runoff after the primary, and Patrick won with 65 percent of the vote.[8] Patrick won the general election with over 58 percent of the vote, in an election where Tea Party candidates made large gains in the state.[12][13]

2018 election

Patrick won re-nomination with 1,172,830 (76 percent) to 368,995 (24 percent) in the Republican primary on March 6, 2018. He faced a single intra-party rival, Scott Milder, a member of the city council in Rockwall in the eastern portion of the Dallas Metroplex. Milder used the campaign theme "Return Texas to Normalcy," like Warren Harding employed nationally in his 1920 presidential race against James M. Cox. Milder carried the backing of the liberal, anti-Patrick San Antonio Express-News.[14] Despite claiming to be "conservative", Milder endorsed Michael E. "Mike" Collier (born c. 1961) of Harris County, Patrick's Democrat opponent in the November 6 general election.[15] Collier is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and a former auditor with PricewaterhouseCooper who claims to have previously been a Republican.

In 2014, Mike Collier was the Democrat nominee for Texas state comptroller on the Democrat ticket headed by the abortion backer Wendy Davis, but he was handily defeated by the Republican Glenn Hagar, who is seeking his second term in the same general election. Josh Brodesky, columnist for The San Antonio Express-News, postulates that Collier will run much better against Patrick in 2018 than he did against Hagar four years earlier. Brodesky cites as evidence for his claim the fact that Collier, fellow Democrat Michael Cooper, and Scott Milder combined out-polled Patrick in the primary election, 1,325,703 to 1,172,830. Hence the three non-conservative candidates outpolled Patrick by 152,873 votes statewide. Brodesky said that Patrick's support for the failed 2017 bill to require transgendered persons to use the public restroom corresponding to their genitalia at birth, along with Patrick's perceived skepticism toward public education has brought forth "the unique political environment of energized Democrats" seeking victory in 2018.[16]

Patrick endorsed several Republican Senate candidates in their primaries,[17] and nearly all of the endorsed candidates won.[18] Later in the year, Patrick heavily supported Senate candidate Pete Flores in a special election, with Flores winning and flipping the Senate seat to the GOP for the first time in 139 years and strengthening Patrick's Senate majority.[19][20][21]


Patrick was sworn in on January 20, 2015, and made no delay in showing his Christian conservative principles once again.[22][23] Soon after assuming office, the Texas Senate voted to drop the threshold needed to consider a bill from two-thirds to three-fiths, something that Patrick supported.[13][24]

On May 13, 2016, Patrick criticized the Obama administration after it released a "directive" stating that all public schools must allow transgender students to use the bathroom and locker facilities that correspond with their identified gender, stating that, on the prospect of the federal government withholding funding for Texas schools for not following the directive, "he can keep his 30 pieces of silver [and that w]e will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States."[25][26][27]

Patrick strongly supported a common-sense bill in 2017 that would have required people in Texas to use the restroom of their biological gender.[28] He spoke out against the left-wing push for gun control, noting that the root cause of gun violence is traced to the devaluing of life in American culture, such as through abortion.[29][30]

In April 2018, as he began preparing for the general election campaign against Mike Collier, Patrick strongly endorsed President Trump's request for National Guard troops on the Mexican border to protect the states from potential invasion by illegal aliens. Patrick even said that he hopes that "hell freezes over" until Trump's border wall can be constructed.[31]

While generally supporting Second Amendment rights, Patrick endorsed some additional gun controls in September 2019.[32]

Legislation passed

Patrick and some conservatives considered his first legislative session as lieutenant governor a victory for conservative principles,[33][34] while some others disagreed.[35][36] Patrick moved to keep National Guard troops sent to the Texas-Mexico border during the illegal immigration surge of 2014 indefinitely, rather than in March 2015, as originally planned.[37] Patrick's 2015 budget in the Texas Senate called for spending $815 million on border security, which he said was more than the previous seven years combined,[37] and was ultimately successful.[38][39] Other bills signed into law during Patrick's tenure include an act that gives pastors the right to refuse to "marry" homosexual couples,[40] and the legalization of open and campus carry.[41]

Patrick strongly supported anti-"sanctuary" city legislation.[42][43] On May 7, 2017, Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law which would criminally charge city or county officials who refuse to cooperate with federal officials in enforcing immigration laws and which gives the police the right to choose to check the immigration status of individuals if they choose.[44][45][46] The bill was much closer to what the Senate, under Patrick's control, supported than to what the House introduced at first.[47]

In 2018, Patrick estimated that up to 30 million illegal aliens reside in the United States because only one in five seeking to gain illegal access are apprehended at the border. Traditional media have long put the figure at 11 million, but Patrick said that if 1.5 million had broken through each year since 2004, the current number of aliens would approach the 30 million figure.[48]

Patrick made legislation prohibiting state or local governments from issuing subpoenas on pastors' sermons a priority in the 2017 session,[49] as Governor Abbott signed that bill into law on May 21, 2017.[49]

Presidential campaign involvement

Patrick endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz for the 2016 Republican presidential primaries and served as his Texas campaign chairman.[50] After businessman Donald Trump became the Republican nominee, Patrick endorsed Trump and eventually became the Texas state chairman for his campaign.[51] While Patrick strongly criticized a tape showing Trump using obscene and graphic language concerning women,[52] he continued to support Trump due to his knowledge of the destructiveness of Hillary Clinton's leftist policies compared to the conservative positions of Trump.[52][53]

Trump won the 2016 presidential election, as well as the state of Texas by more than nine percentage points.[54] The conservative Texas GOP retained its large majorities in the state.[55]

Education and property taxes

Under Patrick's leadership of the state Senate, the state pays 52 percent of all public educational expenses, with local districts and colleges and universities responsible for the remainder. In 2010, that number was 61 percent. Patrick still notes that the 52 percent is a majority of the budget. Patrick proposes school vouchers to free the poor from inferior public schools. When the legislature killed the voucher program in 2017, a plan to increase public educational spending by $1.9 billion also failed. Patrick said that he was surprised that legislators "would have voted against both disabled children and a substantial increase for public schools."[56]

Because of the steady decline in state expenditures for public education, school districts push hard for property tax increases or greater assessed values of the properties being taxed. Patrick has urged a cap on property taxes, but in most districts the tax bills steadily mount.[56]

Intra-party squabbles in Texas GOP

At the Republican State Convention in San Antonio in June 2018, Patrick declared that conservatives had defeated the Moderate Republican faction loyal to outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus. The convention even censured by a 5–1 vote the outgoing Representative Byron Cook of Corsicana, a key Straus ally. Straus himself was earlier censured by his own Bexar County Republican organization, now under the chairmanship of the conservative Cynthia Brehm. U.S. Senator John Cornyn, another Moderate Republican, escaped a censure resolution at the convention. He is expected to seek a fourth term in 2020. The liberal Texas Observer said that the state party "crazies" had "reached a kind of equilibrium, which means there’s little left to fight over. One of the more contentious platform issues this year involved abortion "abolitionism" — the notion that Texas should ban abortion in violation of Supreme Court directives ... a way to signal that you're extra, extra anti-abortion and therefore morally superior to the people who are merely anti-abortion ... On the last day of the convention, one of the abolitionists, having offered an utterly meaningless change to an irrelevant portion of the platform, spoke his piece and concluded with the words of Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms: "Here I stand, I can do no other."[57]

Personal life

Patrick and his wife, Jan, together they have two children.[2] Patrick has written a best-selling book, The Second Most Important Book You Will Ever Read: A Personal Challenge to Read the Bible,[58] and a film, The Heart of Texas. Patrick's son, Ryan Kelley Goeb Patrick (born 1979), is an American lawyer and former judge who currently serves as the United States Attorney for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. He was formerly until his defeat at the polls a state district judge in Harris County. Ryan Patrick swore in his father as lieutenant governor in 2015.[22]

According to Patrick, as his surname from birth, Goeb, was not pleasant-sounding or spelled as it sounded, he did not use it from his first day as a radio host.[1] Instead, he used the air name of Dan Scott.[1] When Patrick became a television broadcaster in 1977, he changed his air name at the request of the person who hired him in order to avoid confusing Patrick with another anchor at a competitor station with the last name of Scott.[1] Patrick chose Dan Patrick, with "Patrick" being his middle name of his wife's brother.[1] Patrick continued to use this name, and by the time he legally changed his name about 2004, he and his family were known as the Patricks.[1]

Strong Christian

While growing up, Patrick and his family were "not very religious."[10] After moving to Houston, he and his wife attended a Roman Catholic church,[10] but he joined a Southern Baptist church soon thereafter.[4] Though Patrick was a member of the conservative Second Baptist Church Houston since 1992, he stated that he was not truly a Christian until 1994, when, at a television-and-radio convention in Las Vegas, Nevada, he repented of his sins, committed his life to Jesus Christ, and was saved.[4][10] After this, Patrick's faith became an important part of his life,[4] and he even considered going into Christian ministry.[10]

An evangelical Christian, Patrick is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the International Bible Society,[2] and he has been a guest pastor of Second Baptist Church Houston.[2][59] Outspoken about his Christian faith,[3][10] Patrick said in his inaugural speech as lieutenant governor: "I respect all faiths and religions, but I am a Christian first, a conservative second and a Republican third, and I praise Jesus for this moment and this day."[22][23]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 The Truth – Name Change » Dan Patrick for Lieutenant Governor. Dan Patrick for Lieutenant Governor. Retrieved on 13 January 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Dan Patrick's Biography. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Sweeney, Paul (Febaruary 24, 2006). Party Crasher: Can Houston's king of right-wing talk radio bust into the Texas Senate?. The Texas Observer. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Swartz, Mimi (January 2007). Here Comes Trouble. Retrieved on December 28, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 Radio Made Dan Patrick Powerful in Texas. And it's Helping Him Stay that Way.. The Texas Tribune (July 27, 2017). Retrieved on December 28, 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 "Lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick knows struggles of going broke", Dallas News, September 19, 2013. Retrieved on May 28, 2014. 
  7. Mack, Kristen. "Alvarado looks in Dallas for Latino legal support", Houston Chronicle, June 23, 2006. Retrieved on November 3, 2012. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved on September 27, 2016.
  9. Grissom, Brandi (December 16, 2010). "Sen. Dan Patrick Announces Tea Party Caucus". The texas Tribune. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 As Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick Remains a 'Christian First'. Austin American-Statesman (April 4, 2015). Retrieved on December 28, 2017.
  11. "Lieutenant Governor Loses Texas Runoff as Tea Party Holds Sway", The New York Times, May 27, 2014. Retrieved on April 2, 2015. 
  12. Grissom, Brandi (May 28, 2014). Tea Party Conservatives Win Top GOP Runoff Contests, Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Koppel, Nathan (January 21, 2015). "Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Moves Quickly to Advance Conservative Agenda". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
  14. "Milder, Collier for lieutenant governor," San Antonio Express-News, February 18, 2018, p. F2.
  15. Ward, Mike (March 8, 2018). Republican endorses Democrat challenger to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 10, 2018.
  16. Josh Brodesky, "Collier challenge to Patrick may be the most interesting race", The San Antonio Express-News, April 1, 2018, p. F3.
  17. Already Playing with a Strong Hand, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Gambles by Endorsing in GOP Primaries. The Dallas Morning News (February 21, 2018). Retrieved on September 20, 2018.
  18. GOP State Sen. Craig Estes Ousted; Sen. Bob Hall Defeats Burkett. The Texas Tribune (March 6, 2018). Retrieved on September 20, 2018.
  19. Price, Bob (September 20, 2018). Texas Republican Wins Senate Seat After 140 Years of Democrat Control. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  20. Mikelionis, Lukas (September 20, 2018). Texas Republican wins state Senate race in district held by Democrats for 139 years. Fox News. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  21. Flores Defeats Gallego in Senate District 19. San Antonio Express-News (September 19, 2018). Retrieved on September 20, 2018.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Lindell, Chuck (January 20, 2015). "Dan Patrick Snaps Selfies, Vows ‘Next Level’ Conservatism". Austin American -Statesman. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Fernandez, Manny (January 20, 2015). "Texas’ New Governor Echoes the Plans of Perry". The New York Times. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  24. Smith, Morgan (January 21, 2015). "With Change in Procedure, Senate Democrats Lose Clout". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved January 23, 2015.
  25. Texas Lt. Gov. Accuses Obama of 'Blackmail' on Transgender Bathrooms. Politico (May 13, 2016). Retrieved on May 14, 2016.
  26. Solace and Fury as Schools React to Transgender Policy. The New York Times (May 13, 2016). Retrieved on May 14, 2016.
  27. "Texas to Instruct Schools Not to Obey Obama's Transgender Bathroom Decree", Fox News Insider. Retrieved on 14 May 2016. 
  28. New bathroom bill in Texas may spark North Carolina-like outrage. Fox News. January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
  29. Key, Pam (May 20, 2018). TX Lt. Gov Patrick on School Shootings: ‘We Have Devalued Life’ Through Abortion, Violence in Pop Culture. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 20, 2018.
  30. Freiburger, Calvin (May 21, 2018). Texas Lt. Gov: Abortion is part of ‘devaluing life’ that leads to school shootings. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved May 21, 2018.
  31. Ian Hanchett (April 6, 2018). TX Lt. Gov: I Hope National Guard Stays on Border ‘Until Hell Freezes over, Until that Wall Is Built’. Breitbart.com. Retrieved on April 7, 2018.
  32. Multiple references: See also:
  33. Price, Bob (June 1, 2015). Texas Legislature Closes with Multiple Conservative Victories. Breitbart. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  34. Price, Bob (June 2, 2015). EXCLUSIVE: End of Session Interview with Texas Lt Gov Dan Patrick. Breitbart. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  35. Ward, Mike & Fikac, Peggy (May 30, 2015). A conservative wave swept the Texas Legislature, but it wasn't big enough for the tea party. The Houston Chronicle. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  36. Garrett, Robert (May 2016). Best Texas budget ever, Dan Patrick says, but others disagree. Dallas News. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  37. 37.0 37.1 The Associated Press (February 10, 2015). "Lt. Gov. Patrick: National Guard Not Leaving Texas Border". CBS-DFW. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
  38. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and the Texas Senate Achieved Your Priorities. Office of the Lieutenant Governor. June 10, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  39. Shadwick, Lana (June 10, 2015). Texas Gov. Signs Toughest Border Security Plan of Any State, and Seeks Fed Reimbursement. Breitbart. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  40. Crampton, Liz (June 11, 2015). Abbott Signs "Pastor Protection Act" Into Law. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  41. Gov. Abbott signs open carry, campus carry into law. KVUE. June 13, 2015. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  42. Perry, Patrick praise passing of Sanctuary Cities bill. KCBD. May 3, 2017. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  43. Aguilar, Julián (May 3, 2017). "Sanctuary cities" bill clears latest hurdle, heads to Abbott for signature. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  44. Carter, Brandon (May 7, 2017). Texas governor signs law banning sanctuary cities. The Hill. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  45. Price, Bob (May 7, 2017). Texas Governor Signs Toughest Sanctuary City Law in U.S.A.. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  46. Texas governor signs bill targeting sanctuary cities. Fox News. May 7, 2017. Retrieved May 7, 2017.
  47. Barragán, James (April 27, 2017). Texas House finally passes harsher 'sanctuary cities' bill that's more like Senate version. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  48. Anna Giaritelli (June 22, 2018). As many as 30 million people live in US illegally, says Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. The Washington Examiner. Retrieved on June 23, 2018.
  49. 49.0 49.1 Abbott Signs Bill Protecting Sermons from Subpoenas. The Texas Tribune (May 21, 2017). Retrieved on May 22, 2017.
  50. Texas' Lt. Gov. Now Backing Ted Cruz's Campaign for President. TWC News (October 26, 2015). Retrieved on September 29, 2015.
  51. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Named Trump's Texas Chairman. The Texas Tribune (September 16, 2016). Retrieved on September 29, 2016.
  52. 52.0 52.1 Svitek, Patrick (October 7, 2016). Top Texas Republicans Condemn Trump's Lewd Comments. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  53. Benito, Marcelino (October 10, 2016). Texas republicans decide whether to stick with Trump. KHOU. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  54. Svitek, Patrick (November 9, 2016). Donald Trump's shocking upset emboldens Texas GOP. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  55. Ketterer, Samantha (November 8, 2016). Democrats see small progress in Texas House, but remain far behind. Dallas News. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  56. 56.0 56.1 Josh Brodesky, "Patrick cares about public education, but ..." (commentary), The San Antonio Express-News, April 29, 2018, p. F3.
  57. The ‘Crazies’ Have Fully Taken Over the Texas GOP: At the state GOP convention, Dan Patrick said his side had "won." He’s right. The Texas Observer. Retrieved on July 7, 2018.
  58. Patrick, Dan (2002). The Second Most Important Book You Will Ever Read: A Personal Challenge to Read the Bible, Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Inc., ISBN 0-7852-6286-5.
  59. Meet Dan. danpatrick.org. Retrieved on December 18, 2017.

External links