HOUSTON, TX – What a difference a day makes. 24 hours ago, the state of the state was unclear. Now there’s little doubt who will be calling the shots in Texas come January. Barring an unlikely occurrence in November, Dan Patrick, the conservative radio talk show host and two-term state senator from Houston will be sworn in as the 42nd Lieutenant Governor of the State of Texas on January 20th, 2015, making him the 2nd most powerful elected official in the state. Quite a feat considering that just a few years ago, few, if any, even knew who he was.
“You know, when I ran in 2006 and we had our event when we won the primary, I said, ‘my voice was not going to the Texas Senate, the people’s voice was going to the Texas Senate,'” Patrick told a room full of supporters at his victory party last night in Houston, “and tonight my voice is not going to the office of Lieutenant Governor come November when we beat the democrats, the people’s voice is going to the office of Lieutenant Governor.”
A fine choice of words considering it’s his voice that likely got him this far in the first place. Before 2006, the only fame Patrick had came from his daily radio talk show. A platform, it turns out, that may have been the perfect proving ground for garnering support: despite mountains of attack ads on TV, since running for office in 2006, he’s never lost an election. But then, none of his opponents has had the power of the airwaves at their disposal quite the way he has, talking to listeners everyday and disseminating his message by the thousands.
“Today with social media, you’re able to respond, you’re able to get the facts out there, people are able to look things up,” he told supporters, “and I think the politics of old doesn’t work anymore.”
And considering that 12 of the state’s 41 Lieutenant Governors have gone on to become Governor themselves, this election could prove one powerful case where video did not kill the radio star.