AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick insists he'll run for re-election next year, trying to tamp down speculation he could mount a primary challenge against fellow Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
Patrick told reporters at GOP of Texas headquarters Monday they could "put it in concrete" that he won't compete against Abbott in 2018 or ever.
An ex-conservative talk radio host and tea party firebrand, Patrick has said repeatedly he sees Abbott as an ally.
But he's fueled reports of rivalry by consistently getting to the right of the more lawyerly Abbott, a former state Supreme Court justice, on many social issues - including trying to ban transgender Texans from using the public restroom of their choice.
Patrick also fully embraced Donald Trump's presidential candidacy while Abbott was more cautious in his support.