On Monday night, four Republican candidates in Texas’ Lieutenant Governor race fought to prove their conservative credentials as each of them explained their positions on issues like immigration, marijuana criminalization, and abortion. The candidates all condemned a Texas judge’s recent decision to allow Marlise Muñoz, a brain dead pregnant woman, to be removed from life support.
“We should always err on the side of life,” offered Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who passed a concealed handgun law during his first session as State Senator in 1993, “I’m not sure that’s what happened here […] with the judge’s ruling.”
Incumbent Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst also assured his constituents that, in the case of Marlise Muñoz, “if I had been in the judge’s shoes, I would have ruled differently.”
Muñoz had been legally dead since she collapsed on her kitchen floor in late November from a suspected blood clot in her lungs. A hospital kept her on a ventilator because she was pregnant, despite her wishes to be removed from life support should she be in such a situation. The hospital caring for her maintained that she was in “serious condition” and would not confirm she was legally dead. Last Friday, after nearly eight weeks on a ventilator, a Texas judge ruled that she be removed from life support — as per both her and her family’s wishes — after the fetus was found to have suffered “abnormalities” and was declared “non-viable.”
Each trying to prove themselves more conservative than each other, every candidate also took a strong stance against abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.
With only five weeks remaining in the primary, it’s only a matter of time before one of these four men face off against Democratic Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, whose final inquiry during the filibuster on Senate Bill 5 caused an uproar in the chamber from observers opposing the bill just before midnight, which ultimately prevented a final vote and killed the bill for that session.
Mike Rivera is an intern at Think Progress.