Elections

Dewhurst Confident He’ll Keep His Job After Next Week’s Run-Off

The lieutenant governor is in the fight of his political life.

David Dewhurst is a policy wonk. He loves to talk about the technicalities of legislation and dig into the minutia of the budget.

That may sound a little boring, but the 68-year old, who built an oil and gas business, believes his ability to digest details is one of his strongest skills as lieutenant governor.

“I like to solve problems. I’m a businessman. I love to do things for Texans to help them,” Dewhurst said.

He counts tax cuts as one of his two greatest accomplishments during his 11 years as lieutenant governor.

The other is passage of Jessica’s Laws, which have increased penalties against child sex offenders and given prosecutors more tools to convict them.

Dewhurst says he began working on the issue after learning about the sexual abuse and killing of a five-year-old girl.

“It was so horrific that I spent the next year of my life, when I had the time, talking to sexual abuse victims, parents, police officers, DA’s around the state, and I passed the toughest Jessica’s Law in the country. And I think that’s helped,” Dewhurst said.

As for the skill he most struggles with?

“I think my communication,” he said. “When my dad was killed by a drunk driver, Mom says I was so traumatized I stuttered, I couldn’t talk, so I speak slower.”

Those who know Dewhurst say he seems ill at ease in some settings, and on the campaign trail he’s often outmaneuvered by his quick-witted, sharp-tongued opponent, a broadcast personality who blames Dewhurst for Wendy Davis’ abortion filibuster shutting down the senate.  

Dewhurst compares his style with Senator Patrick’s this way: “He’s almost been a disc jockey too long. He’s always trying to get publicity. It takes judgment, it takes ability to think through the next step.

“If you’re constantly running for a sound bite.  If you’re constantly running for publicity. If this is about you, then you’ve got problems,” he said.

If he overcomes Patrick’s lead and wins another term, Dewhurst says he wants to bring greater technology to classrooms and get the dirt flying on new water projects.

He believes his record is proof he can do it.

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