Earlier this morning, state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, paid a visit to his conservative talk-radio pal Laura Ingraham and announced on her nationally syndicated program that he’s forming an exploratory committee in preparation for a run at the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by fellow Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Since joining the Texas Senate in 2007, Patrick has made a name for himself as one of the most conservative politicians in the Texas Legislature — and a favorite of the religious right .
In the 2011 legislative session, he successfully pushed for the so-called sonogram bill, legislation that requires women seeking an abortion to undergo a sonogram before they can go ahead with the procedure. When the bill was signed into law this week, Patrick said women who have had abortions can find forgiveness in the “blood of Jesus Christ.” Such a statement is not out of character for a legislator who is not shy about using faith to achieve political goals and vilify opponents on the floor of the Texas Senate or on his radio talk show.
TFN has been keeping an eye on Patrick since his arrival on the state political scene, predicting in our 2007 report “God’s Lawgivers? Carrying the Water for the Religious Right in Texas Government” that he would make waves with his big ego and strident talk-radio style. (I mean, the man titled his 2002 book The Second Most Important Book You’ll Ever Read. He’s long had a grandiose opinion of himself.) We think our 2007 profile of Patrick holds up pretty well. You can read it for yourself here (pdf). See if you think Sen. Patrick’s schtick will play well in a statewide election.