We Recommend Texas Lieutenant Governor Democratic Primary
This editorial is on the Dallas Morning News editorial board’s list of recommendations for the 2022 primary. Find the full project here.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has leaned on the Texas Senate to approve policies like license-free portering, the ‘heartbeat’ abortion law and legislation targeting critical race theory in schools public. The three Democrats hoping to overthrow him — State Rep. Michelle Beckley, Carla Brailey and Mike Collier — say they want to bring the Senate’s attention back to the meat and potatoes that matter most to Texans, such as funding for public schools, reliable electricity and improving access to health care.
If Democrats really want to oust Patrick, then they should vote for Collier, 60.
Collier, an ex-Republican and former auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers, challenged Patrick on the Democratic ticket four years ago and came within 5 percentage points of victory. Collier pointed out that he got more votes than Democratic star Beto O’Rourke in two-thirds of Texas counties in 2018 – a success that Collier says cannot be attributed solely to O’ influence. Rourke on downvotes.
Since his loss in 2018, Collier has worked to increase his name awareness and connect with Texans across the state. He thinks his political ideas speak to both Democrats and Republicans.
For example, on school funding, Collier said he wants to close the loopholes that allow big businesses to underpay their share of property taxes while homeowners and small businesses see their tax bills rise. He referred to a vague 1997 state law that allows a landlord to appeal a higher-than-median assessment of a number of “comparable” properties.
Under the law, companies selected comparable properties and had their assessments lowered to the median value, regardless of the actual market value of their own properties. Collier said Texans on both sides of the aisle support changing that policy.
Collier’s view on the growth of the Texas economy is that the state must rely on more than economic incentives. He said that as cheap real estate becomes harder to come by, Texas will compete based on the quality of its communities, including its schools, public safety and power grid.
While Collier criticized Gov. Greg Abbott’s border fence and called for more transparency around its funding, he told us that border security is an issue that requires state involvement: “I don’t don’t like politicians who just say, well, it’s federal, not just state. It’s an escape. It is our state. He offers to work constructively with the White House and improve communication between law enforcement.
Collier’s main opponent is Beckley, 52. She touts her track record in turning her House district in Denton County to Democratic in 2018 and widening her margin of victory in 2020. But we’re skeptical of her ability to translate that achievement into nationwide appeal. state in a general election, given its ranking as one of the most liberal members of the Texas House.
Brailey, 49, a former vice chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, is also in the running. Brailey aligns with Collier and Beckley on strengthening public schools, fixing the power grid and expanding Medicaid. She did not interview us.
Collier has a good grasp of the issues facing this state and he has worked to expand his base of support since his first campaign for lieutenant governor. He is the best choice.