Speculation mounts on possible Republican intraparty battle for governor in 2018

Tom Hinde

The Associated Press (AP) reports speculation is growing that Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick may be laying the groundwork to challenge current Gov. Greg Abbott for governor in 2018. Both continue to downplay a possible intraparty feud. According to the AP, Patrick has meticulously moved to the governor's right on many issues GOP primary voters support.

During the 2016 presidential nomination process and general election, Patrick fully embraced Donald Trump while Abbott kept his distance and supported fellow Texan Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential bid. Both men have very different styles. Abbott is a former Texas Supreme Court justice who appeals to traditional Republicans. Patrick is a fiery, tea party favorite and former talk radio host.

Though 2018's a long way off, that cycle will begin gearing up shortly after the Texas legislative session ends on June 1.