AUSTIN - State Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) says he's running for lieutenant governor.
Patrick announced his statewide campaign in a YouTube video and at a downtown Austin hotel Thursday morning.
Patrick joins a 2014 primary that already includes current Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.
Patrick is a tea party favorite in the Senate. He called Tuesday night's failure to pass an abortion restriction bills an example of failed leadership by Dewhurst.
The bill died when several hundred protesters in the gallery disrupted the Senate's final minutes before a midnight deadline.
Patrick's campaign released this statement Thursday:
"Recent events in the Texas Senate have confirmed the feeling that I have had for a while now. We need new leadership in the Lieutenant Governor's office that is unapologetically conservative and will get results.
"Illegal immigration and border security may be the federal government's responsibility, but it's our problem. This year's budget, despite increasing overall government spending and debt, actually cut border security. I voted against it because this is Texas, not California. It's time we have a Lieutenant Governor who understands that.
"The office of Lieutenant Governor is supposedly the most powerful in the state and a Republican has held it for over a decade, yet so little has been done to address border security, debt, and property tax relief. It's time for new conservative leadership. I have the proven track record, passion and energy to get the job done.
"Recent events in the Texas Senate have confirmed the feeling that I have had for a while now. We need new leadership in the Lieutenant Governor's office that is unapologetically conservative and will get results."
Patrick has served in the Texas Senate for seven years.
Click here to watch Sen. Patrick's campaign announcement.
Copyright 2013 by Click2Houston.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.