Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick received $3 million in campaign support from Defend Texas Liberty, a group that has been campaigning against the suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton’s impeachment, according to a campaign finance report released on Tuesday.
The group gave a $1 million contribution and a $2 million loan to Patrick’s campaign — who is not up for reelection until 2026. The group was Patrick’s biggest benefactor on the report, covering Patrick’s fundraising from June 19-30.
The fundraising timeline overlapped with the Senate deliberations over the trial rules, which were approved on June 21. This is the first chance state officials had to fundraise since the House impeached Paxton.
The Senate is due to begin the impeachment trial on Sept. 5, during which Patrick would be acting as the presiding officer — essentially the judge.
The trial’s outcome would decide whether Paxton would be permanently removed from office or not. He was impeached by the Texas House on May 27, by a vote of 121-23 and is currently suspended without pay.
Defend Texas Liberty PAC sent text messages to GOP voters, “Stop this madness and end this witch hunt.” Asking them to call their state senators and put an end to the impeachment process. The PAC has also made it clear that they will politically target House Republicans who voted in favor of the impeachment.
“Defend Texas Liberty will ensure that every Republican voter in Texas knows just what a sham the Texas House has been this session and just how absurd this last-minute Democrat-led impeachment effort is,” the group said in a May 26 tweet.
Defend Texas Liberty is funded by far-right mega-donors Tim Dunn and the Wilks family, who are infamously known for bankrolling primary challengers to House GOP Members and is led by the former state Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford), who has been leading the effort to push Texas Republicans more towards the right.
The PAC in their latest campaign finance filing relieved they received just under $2 million in donations from Dunn and a $1.5 million check from Farris and Jo Ann Wilks.
While Patrick has received support from the group before, the outpouring of support raises questions of impartiality regarding his role in the impeachment.
Patrick reported 1.7 million in contributions during the last 12 days of June, Dunn was his top donor with $150,000 of contributions.
The $1 million in contribution from the PAC represents almost a quarter of Patrick’s funds raised during the time period. The donation was made on June 27, and the loan was made two days later and the maturity date for it is June 30, 2025.
Stickland made a reference to the tweet by the PAC but did not talk about the group’s support to Patrick, according to the Texas Tribune.
“This is just the beginning, wait till you see the next report,” he told the Texas Tribune. “We will never stop. Ever. Grassroot conservatives will be heard.”
On Monday, Patrick issued a wide-ranging gag order for all parties involved in the case. Patrick’s campaign didn’t respond for a comment, citing impeachment trial rules, according to the Texas Tribune.
In a new release on Monday, Patrick’s campaign team boosted his fundraising efforts without mentioning how much he raised or where the money came from. The only statistic that was identified was how much cash on hand Patrick had as of June 30, $22.2 million.
“I was humbled by the outpouring of support for the work we have accomplished during the 88th Legislative Session. The grassroots and the business leaders across Texas agree with the direction Texas is heading,” Patrick said in the news release. “I appreciate the financial support.”
While Patrick initially said that he would not seek reelection, his campaign in Monday’s news release said that he plans to run again in three years. Patrick would be up for reelection in 2026.