Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who has sought to raise voters’ apprehensions about Sen. Dan Patrick’s past mental health problems, on Monday sought to snare Patrick in a trap. But Patrick, who is leading the race for lieutenant governor, once again eluded Patterson’s grasp.
Patterson, chief author of the state’s 1995 concealed handgun license law, said that when Patrick applied for a conceal-carry license, he had to disclose his two stays in Houston psychiatric hospitals in the 1980s and obtain a doctor’s seal of approval to be carrying a gun.
Patterson called on Patrick to let the Department of Public Safety release his application for a concealed handgun license, so reporters can see if Patrick complied with the law.
Patrick spokesman Allen Blakemore, though, said Patrick is “definitely not” going to ask DPS to do that.
There's much more.
I have nearly no doubt that Patrick is going to prevail in the runoff, and I wonder if the various questions raised about his fitness to hold the state's most important office might be of greater concern to general election voters than they have been to those who vote in Republican primaries. Most everyone I have talked to (who are not GOP, that is) seems a little conflicted about these developments. The DMN's Rodger Jones defines the dilemma.
When Patrick’s defenders cried foul against Patterson, did they really think the information doesn’t belong in the public domain? Because it does, since people want to know who their top elected leaders really are.
The fact that it came from Patterson may help Patrick in the long run. His defenders hope and pray the release backfires on Dewhurst and wins Patrick some sympathy votes if he plays a good enough victim.
And that just might happen. This newspaper had been a Patrick detractor, and now we’ve risen up to join his defenders, in a sense. In a very reluctant sense. Our editorial voice is hollering at Jerry Patterson for doing something that our own news department probably would have done if our newspaper had first crack at the information.
I suppose we'll just have to wait and see what happens.