AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick made it official Thursday: The Republican is seeking a third term leading the state Senate. In an announcement video, Patrick touted his conservative bona fides and promised to “crush” the Democrats in 2022.

“The Democrats are bragging again they are going to turn Texas blue, well I am not about to let that happen,” said Patrick, 71.

Former President Donald Trump has already endorsed Patrick, a stamp of approval that carries weight with the state’s most conservative voters who typically vote in GOP primaries.

No high-profile Republicans have jumped into the race to challenge Patrick, but at least one aired grievances with his leadership this week.

“I do not support Dan Patrick for reelection — I think he needs to go, I think we need somebody else in there, somebody who’s actually committed to being a productive member,” Rep. Cody Vasut, R-Angleton, said during a recent business luncheon, according to The Brazosport Facts.

At least one Democrat is in the race for lieutenant governor. Mike Collier, who unsuccessfully challenged Patrick in 2018, is after a rematch.

“Dan Patrick has proven that he doesn’t care about the needs of everyday Texans and he refuses to lead on the issues that Texans care about the most,” Collier said in a statement Thursday.

Patrick, a former conservative radio host, was first elected lieutenant govrnor in November 2014 after eight years in the Texas Senate. He won reelection in 2018, besting Collier by five percentage points.

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