Democratic state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. endorses Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for reelection

State Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, on the Senate floor on May 6, 2019. (Juan Figueroa/The Texas Tribune, Juan Figueroa/The Texas Tribune)

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State Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., a Democrat from the Rio Grande Valley, endorsed Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick for reelection on Tuesday. Lucio called Patrick a “hero and legend.”

It is the latest endorsement in the race after Patrick’s Democratic opponent, Mike Collier, received the support of two Republicans, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley and state Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo.

Like Whitley and Seliger, Lucio is retiring. He has also been close with Patrick for a long time, aligning on social issues like their opposition to abortion.

“Proud to endorse [Patrick], the best [lieutenant governor] I’ve ever served with,” tweeted Lucio, who first joined the Senate in 1991. He added that Patrick’s reelection was a “must for Texas.”

Listing the reasons he supported Patrick, Lucio included "#LIFE," an apparent reference to the issue of abortion.

Whitley and Seliger backed Collier in recent days, citing their longtime problems with Patrick’s alleged hostility toward local government. Patrick’s campaign fired back by calling them “dinosaur[s].”

Lucio has long bucked his party on some issues, and his relationship with Patrick is part of that. Patrick issued a statement Wednesday morning saying he was "honored" to have Lucio's endorsement.

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