Lt. Governor David Dewhurst is man of both influence and power.
It is power and influence, critics claim, Dewhurst attempted to leverage improperly in an August 3rd phone call to Allen police who were holding the wife of his nephew on a charge of shoplifting $57 dollars worth of groceries from a Kroger store
"Janice, this is David Dewhurst, the Lieutenant Governor of the State of Texas, and I want to talk to your senior officer who is there at your department right now," said Dewhurst in the opening moments of the call.
While attempting to persuade the Duty Sergeant to release his family member the Lt. Governor repeatedly proclaimed that he'd been a named a top supporter of Texas law enforcement.
During the call Dewhurst also mentioned that he would be contacting the head of the Department of Public Safety to both vouch for him and aid in gaining the family members release.
"If you would explain to me Sergeant, what I would need to do to arrange for getting her out of jail this evening so that and you can proceed," asked Dewhurst.
When told that his nephew's wife would not be released, but rather transferred to the Colin County Jail for booking, Dewhurst asked for the Sergeant's name and the cell phone number of his superior officer.
"This is ridiculous," said Dewhurst who never asked officers to circumvent the law.
While some are calling Dewhurst's actions heavy handed, the Allen Police Department says they felt no attempt at intimidation.
"He didn't threaten anybody. He didn't demand anything. He didn't ask for anything that was above and beyond what a normal citizen would, so no, I don't think he did anything that crossed any lines," said Jon Felty, a spokesman for APD.
Houston state Senator Dan Patrick, whose running against Dewhurst, took a much different view.
"Very, very inappropriate. He should have known better. He's been in office too long," said Patrick in a phone interview with Fox 26.
But Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, whose also looking to become Lt. Governor, considers Dewhurst's call of minimal interest.
"It's a distraction. I hope its a one day story. There are a lot of things we need to be talking about here in Texas other than that call," said Patterson.
Houston Political analyst Chris Begala offered yet another perspective.
"You could make the arguement that David Dewhurst is a standup guy and is ready to defend his relatives. I think that would resonate more than an attack on him," said Begala.
Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples is also seeking to replace Dewhurst.
"Texans expect better from their public officials," said Staples.
Dewhurst has yet to respond publically but his spokesman said the Lt. Governor was acting as a concerned family member who encouraged police to follow the law throughout the call.