State Sen. Dan Patrick said Thursday evening he is in all likelihood not running for US Senate and is strongly considering a run for Lieutenant Governor in 2014.
"I think I can be more effective here in Texas than the US Senate," Patrick said, speaking to the Arlington Republican Club. "I’m going to keep an eye on it because I’m not sure that everyone [who has] announced in it is going to stay."
The Houston Republican has been openly considering joining the race to replace US Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison for months. Other candidates in the race include Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert, and former Solicitor General Ted Cruz, all Republicans, and retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, a Democrat.
Patrick said he’ll make his "final decision" on whether to run for the US Senate next week. He said he thinks he would end up in a runoff with Dewhurst if he ran.
"I'm going to keep a close eye on the field but it’s not about races you think you can win or you want to win," Patrick said. "It’s about where you can best serve and I think I can best serve the issues I believe in in Texas and maybe as Lieutenant Governor in 2014, but if I just stay in the Texas Senate...that’s fine.
"So the door is pretty much closed but everyday something changes," Patrick said.
Patrick also said he’d rather live in Texas than Washington, D.C.
The conservative radio host predicted that Attorney General Greg Abbott will be elected governor of Texas in 2014. Patrick said he's discussed the possibility of serving as Lieutenant Governor with Abbott in the state’s top post.
"I would never want to run against him," Patrick said. "And I told the Attorney General, 'I’m happy to be your copilot. As long as you believe in the things I believe, then I don’t have to be in the driver's seat. I’m happy to push the cart.'"