Former Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul endorsed Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson’s bid for lieutenant governor Wednesday.
“I know Jerry will fight for limited government and more personal liberties,” he said.
The Federal Reserve-bashing, libertarian-leaning Paul has had a long friendship with Patterson and especially close ties to his campaign manager, Chris Elam. Still, because Paul rarely endorses, his move caught some by surprise.
Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, state Sen. Dan Patrick and Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples also are seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor on March 4.
As a three-term land commissioner, Patterson “has served Texas well,” Paul said in a statement.
In a swipe at President Barack Obama, Paul said, “This current administration has even gone so far as to sue states they disagree with. We need people in state governments that are willing to stand up to the federal government and say, ‘Enough is Enough.’”
Patterson said he’d known Paul for three decades.
“We are both well-known for never compromising core values and for sticking to our principles in the pursuit of liberty,” Patterson said.
Patterson and Elam, his campaign manager, have strong “Paulista” connections.
“Jerry worked with Ron on in-district events in the early 80′s, and also served as auctioneer at some of his birthday bashes upon Ron’s return to Congress,” Elam said in an email.
His father, Mark Elam, worked as Paul’s congressional district field representative in the early 1980s. Paul gave up his House seat to run unsuccessfully for higher offices — U.S. Senate in 1984; and, as a Libertarian four years later, president.
When he returned to politics in 1996, Mark Elam was his campaign manager as he unseated U.S. Rep. Greg Laughlin, who’d switched from Democrat to Republican while in office. Mark Elam continued working on Paul’s campaigns through 2012, when the congressman announced he’d retire from Congress. Paul made a final stab at becoming president as a Republican, losing the nomination to Mitt Romney.