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Lieutenant Governor Debate Hits Border Security

President Barack Obama addressed immigration reform Tuesday in his State of the Union address. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has indicated the house might take a piecemeal approach to immigration reform.

But in Texas, the race for lieutenant governor has turned into a four-way battle over who can sound the toughest against illegal immigration.

The Republican candidates faced off earlier this week in a debate and securing the border was a hot topic. The four candidates are jockeying to be the Republican nominee for the lieutenant governor’s post — a job considered to be more powerful than even the governor of Texas.

All four claimed to be the most conservative and pointed to their stance on border security as proof.

Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick: "Our top issue is to secure the border and protect the life of Texans, the property of Texas and defend our country."

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson: "If you are not going to deport 10 million people and you have not plan to do anything with those that remain you are supporting de facto amnesty."

Incumbent Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst: "And we do have a problem with illegals being arrested here in the United States and housing them, that’s why I sent an invoice to the Obama administration of $156 million."

Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples: "It is Washington’s responsibility but Texas is on the front lines and it’s our problems and we must fight for a secure border.”

Texas has a 1,300 mile-long border with Mexico. Early voting for the primary begins in about three weeks.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi