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Jerry Patterson: Author of concealed handgun law campaigns for Lt. Governor

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Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson brought his campaign for lieutenant governor to the Wichita Falls Country Club today Wed., Feb. 12 and made an impressive speech in front of an enthusiastic crowd. The author of the concealed handgun law in Texas made a strong case as to why people should vote for him in the upcoming Republican primary in only three weeks.

When people ask him why they should vote for him he said that he will always shoot straight with them. While many politicians will go to different venues and tell that particular group what they want to hear just to win votes, he pledged that he would never do that. He said his story is not going to change from month to month or location to location.

With the Republican primary coming up on March 4 and the run-off slated for May 27 he said people are going to hear a lot "of politicking in the near future." He then said just remember "the word politics comes from the Latin word 'poli' which means 'many' and the word 'ticks' which means bloodsuckers." His joke received a loud round of laughs.

Born in 1946, he has built an impressive resume' and graduated from Texas A&M in 1969. He was commissioned in the United States Marine Cops in 1969 and is a Vietnam veteran as well as being a Naval Flight Officer. Elected to the Texas Senate in 1992, he served two six-year terms as State Senator from District 11, which is Houston.

He recalled running for the Texas Senate in 1992 before Republicans were the majority party in Texas in a district covering southeast Harris County which included Deer Park, LaPorte, Galveston and into Brazoria County.

"My platform was to limit politicians terms and not criminals terms. I'd campaign at the petrochemical plant. I was going to pass a law to let them carry guns. Which I did in 1995. I'd tell them I was a Second Amendment guy. You remember the liberals said there was going to be blood in the streets and of course there wasn't."

"The critics of the bill said there going to be shootouts at every four-way stop and it was going to mean the end of civilation as we know it. What happened was homicides by firearms have decreased by 42% since the passage of the law. The message is government always underestimates the ability of citizens like you and I to make good decisions. The most important part of the Constitution is the First and Second Amendments. The right of religious freedoms and the right to carry arms," he said.

He said he was endorsed by Ron Paul, Dick Armey and had a great rating by the NRA.

"If you go to my website you'll see my discussion of the water issue. I know water is in short supply in Wichita Falls. The current law makes it very difficult to do interbasin transfer of water. That needs to be changed."

He discussed several solutions to the water shortage situation.

Patterson also said, "One of my first trips to Wichita Falls was to help a friend of mine Tom Haywood who was running for the Senate. He was not expected to win. He drove around from courthouse to courthouse and coffee shop to coffee shop. He had that self-deprecating sense of humor. Later on he was slow-talking Tom. He said 'You know I don't wanna' vote for this, but I can talk for a long time,' threatening a fillibuster you know. He was a great guy." Wichita Falls is very proud of Tom Haywood and service to the people of his district. Haywood was elected to several terms as state senator andrepresented the people of the North Texas area.

Denise Haywood, daughter of the late Sen. Tom Haywood, was present at the event tonight. She shares her father's interest in the future of Texas and Texans.

Reno Gustafson, president of Falls Distributing, hosted and organized the event for Patterson. He said he believed Patterson did a great job at the reception of presenting his thoughts, beliefs, and ideas to those present this evening.

Patterson was elected Texas Land Commissioner in 2002 and has served three terms (12 years) in that position. He has strengthened the Permanent School Fund by $22 billion during his tenure in the Land Office. Patterson believes education is vital to the growth of the next generation of Texans. A strong military man, he has increased veterans benefits without taxpayer subsidy during his time in the General Land Office.

He has many accomplishments during his time in the Senate where he passed the home equity constitutional amendment, created a Texas State Veterans Home Program, passed a law creating DPS Fugitive Apprehension Unit and served as chairman of the first Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.

The father of four and grandfather of two, he is part of a family which has seen five generations serve in wartime military service.

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