AUSTIN (KXAN/AP) — Republican incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has a new opponent for the 2022 race.
Democrat Mike Collier has formally launched a second try for Texas lieutenant governor. He officially kicked off his campaign to unseat Patrick, saying fundamental rights “are hanging by a thread” and imploring Texans to elect new leadership.
Collier, an accountant who lost to Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick by 4.8 percentage points in 2018, made his entry official months after forming an exploratory campaign, although he had made clear that he intended to make another run.
Collier has been traveling the state for months gauging interest, and said he is ready to once again take on Patrick after a stronger than expected showing in 2018.
“What Texans really want in a lieutenant governor is somebody who will roll up their sleeves and solve problems. What we find Dan Patrick is somebody who refuses to deal with the real problems. Instead, he’s hyper partisan, and ignoring such things as fixing the d**n grid, ignoring the explosion in property taxes, he’s not dealing with it, honestly,” Collier told KXAN.
In his announcement, Collier said:
“People are exhausted. Exhausted of a negligent state government. Exhausted of a politics of hate and vitriol. And exhausted of politicians who refuse to do what is right and would rather do what is in the interest of their careers, of their bank accounts, and of their power.”
The race for lieutenant governor also now includes former Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd, who announced in September that he’ll run as a Democrat.
Collier said he has raised more than $1 million so far, and both he and Dowd are starting off without going on the attack against each other. It is Collier’s third bid for statewide office after also running for comptroller in 2014.
“The fact that I’ve been working on this for years and years, I’ve got an army of surrogates and champions and allies all around the state,” he said. “I know what issues are on Texans’ minds all around the state…3.8 million people turned up voted for me, I’m going to go out and see as many of them as I can, and we’re going to add to that number.”
Democrats are still waiting for a candidate for governor, although former congressman Beto O’Rourke has said he is considering a run. No Democrat has won a statewide office in Texas since 1994.
Reporter Maggie Glynn will have a full report on KXAN News at 6 p.m.