When Texas lawmakers descend on Austin for the biennial legislative session, their agendas are set by the sometimes competing priorities of the state’s top Republicans, Gov. Greg Abbott (R), Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and House Speaker Dade Phelan (R).
Prioritizing key bills naturally thrusts one legislator — usually a Patrick ally in the Senate — into the spotlight. Last session, Sen. Bryan Hughes (R) emerged as a leading voice on election reform bills.