Report: Texas Lt. Guv Privately Urged Rick Perry To Challenge Guv. Abbott

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) applauds as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) gives his first State of the State speech since becoming governor after Rick Perry's 2014 retirement. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/C... Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) applauds as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) gives his first State of the State speech since becoming governor after Rick Perry's 2014 retirement. (Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images) MORE LESS

In the latest round of intra-Texas GOP drama, the Texas Tribune revealed Friday that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) plotted to get Gov. Greg Abbott (R) booted out of office.

According to the Tribune, Patrick privately lobbied former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), whom the lieutenant governor describes as one of his “best friends in life,” to take a shot at returning to the governor’s mansion last year — when Abbott had already launched his bid for reelection.

Patrick told the outlet that yes, he had proposed a comeback for Perry, who had served as Texas governor for 15 years before Abbott took office in 2015, “late last summer,” but only if Abbott wasn’t running again.

But at that time, it was already established that Abbott would seek a third term; as the Tribune notes, one of Abbott’s advisers had stated all the way back in January 2019 that the governor wanted to run again. Additionally, Abbott said on Thursday that it was “always clear” he would do so.

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Perry served as ex-President Donald Trump’s energy secretary from 2017 to 2019. Trump has already endorsed Abbott in Texas’ crowded Republican gubernatorial primary, but Patrick has been leveraging his close relationship with the ex-president to boost his own allies, according to the Tribune, and the lieutenant governor wouldn’t say if he’d discussed a potential Perry candidacy with Trump.

Perry ultimately decided against joining the race.

Interestingly enough, though, there is a Rick Perry on the ballot — but it’s a guy named Ricky Lynn Perry who filed to have his name listed as “Rick Perry,” and his filing happened to be notorized by a supporter of one of Abbott’s challengers.

Whether or not Ricky Lynn Perry, like Rick Perry, isn’t ashamed to admit that he’s a Christian and believes there’s something wrong with the country when gays can serve openly in the military but kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas, remains to be seen.

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