by Jim Vertuno
The Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - After 11 years in one of the most powerful offices in Texas state government, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst faces the election of his career as he runs against three Republican challengers.
His opponents in Tuesday's primary all argue Dewhurst isn't conservative enough.
Houston Sen. Dan Patrick says he's a Christian first and a conservative second. State Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson says the party needs to be more than the party of "no." And state Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples has made border security his hallmark issue.
The searing nature of the campaign has seen the candidates turn on one another. Each has risen through Texas politics in an era of Republican domination.