Tea Party topples Texas lt. gov.

Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) has lost his GOP primary, ending more than a decade in office.

The Associated Press has called the race for Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick (R), a hard-charging conservative who focused on illegal immigration. Patrick led Dewhurst by 64 percent to 36 percent with 9 percent of precincts reporting.

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Dewhurst, a self-funding multi-millionaire, had finished well behind Patrick in the first round of voting two months ago. The race had gotten increasingly nasty in the closing weeks of the campaign, punctuated by the release of Patrick's mental health records. 

The lieutenant governor, first elected in 2002, never really recovered from his hard-hitting primary loss to now-Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) two years ago, and was vulnerable to a challenge from the right.

Democrats are hopeful that their nominee, Texas state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte (D), will have a shot now against Patrick in the general election due to his hardline conservative views,. Though Democrats are optimistic about Van De Putte and gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis (D), any statewide nominee for the party still has a steep climb in Texas.