Race for Texas lieutenant governor takes nasty turn

HOUSTON - There's been another political bombshell dropped in the Republican primary runoff race for Texas lieutenant governor - only days before the start of early voting.

Supporters of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst released court documents to the media to show that Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston) was hospitalized for depression in the 1980s.

The documents were taken from depositions from a lawsuit between Paul Harism and Dan Patrick in the 1980s.

In a statement the Patrick campaign acknowledge  the state senator from Houston sought medical attention to help him cope with exhaustion and depression nearly 30 years ago.

Patrick's campaign also blasted Dewhurst and accused him of having a hand in leaking the story.

"This is outrageous. Dewhurst had already hit bottom and now he has found a new low. He has no honor and knows no shame," read the statement.

However, Texas Land commissioner Jerry Patterson told KPRC Local 2 that he takes responsibility for sharing the documents with the media to "let voters know the truth about Patrick."

Late Friday afternoon, Dewhurst's campaign released a statement.

"Commissioner Jerry Patterson operates completely independently of my campaign, and over my objection he chose to release information from Mr. Paul Harasim's files, which are all part of the public domain. My heart goes out to Dan Patrick and his family for what they've endured while coping with this situation. The bottom line is I have not read or reviewed any of Mr. Harasim's files from his lawsuit with Dan Patrick. Neither the campaign or I have any control whatsoever over Mr. Harism's files."

Some political experts don't think the new information will have any impact on the final outcome of the runoff race.

"At this point the outcome of the election is pretty much decided and the only question is how large is Dan Patrick's margin of victory going to be," said Mark Jones, chair of Rice University's political science department.

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