Texas

Candidates for Texas lieutenant governor share their experiences

The winner will have a tough fight with the current Republican Lieutenant-Governor Dan Patrick.

TEXAS, USA – As candidates for the governorship have already been determined, the ballot for this month’s Democratic primary will be the choice between Mike Collier, a lieutenant governor, and Michelle Beckley, a representative of Carrollton.

The winner of the May 24 race will then face Lt. Gen. Dan Patrick, who won the Republican primary in March in the November midterm elections. Patrick is well-funded and a Democrat has not won a state office in Texas since 1994. Early voting will take place on May 16-20.

Collier and Beckley finished first in the March 1 primary, beating former Texas Democratic Party Vice Chairman Carla Braille, who finished first and second, respectively. Collier received about 41% of the vote, while Beckley received about 30%.

Only about 18% of registered voters voted in the March primary.

What does the governor lieutenant do?

The governor’s lieutenant oversees the state’s 31-member Senate, making him the most elected position in the Texas Legislature. An office owner can dictate much of government policy by influencing which bills to advance and which to suspend.

The governor’s lieutenant can also help recruit officials to higher positions. Rick Perry, one of the most famous Texas politicians in modern history, held the position before becoming governor of Texas, launched a presidential campaign and served as US Secretary of Energy under former President Donald Trump.

If a Democrat won a seat, they could defend the party’s Republican-controlled Senate legislative priorities, which are often unrealistic, and obstruct GOP legislation.

As an accountant and auditor, Collier has never held elected office. However, he emphasizes his experience with state-wide campaigns, especially his campaign for the lieutenant governor in 2018, which is close to 5 percentage points from Patrick. The governor’s lieutenant won a seat in 2014 with 20 percent. Collier is the closest Democrat to defeat Patrick, who ran for the Texas Senate for the first time in 2006.

Collier was previously known as a Republican before running for office and twice voted against former President Barack Obama. However, his campaign highlighted recent efforts to support Democratic candidates, including fundraising as the Texas Democratic Party’s chief financial officer. He was also named senior adviser to President Joe Biden in Texas in 2020.

According to his campaign, Collier was the first to support public education, motivating him to run for public office, and he has experience as a financial advisor to the Texas energy industry and a former chief financial officer of Layline Petroleum. This energy industry experience will be useful, said Ali S. Zaidi, Collier’s campaign manager, given the province’s power grid problems.

“He has dedicated his entire life to working in the energy industry, especially in the field of renewable energy over the past few years,” Zaidi said. to ensure that the future is built here in the province. ”

Who is Michelle Bekli?

Beckley is a small business owner at the Cookaburra Poultry Store in Carrollton and has served as a state representative from Denton County for two years. He changed his Republican seat by a narrow margin in 2018 and criticized GOP leaders and Republican colleagues while in office.

Beckley drew national attention last summer for joining a group of Democratic state lawmakers who fled to Washington to block Republican voting legislation. About a month after the law went into effect last fall, Beckley announced his candidacy for lieutenant governor to stop Republicans’ efforts to restrict voting rights and abortion.

“I ran for governor’s lieutenant because politicians prefer ideology to results that are important to Texans,” Beckley said in November last year, citing legislative practice.

During the 2021 regular legislative session, Beckley introduced bills seeking to address the scope of health insurance, improve power grid issues and communication on voting, and abolish the language in the Texas Constitution that restricts marriage between men and women. Most of Beckley’s legislative efforts have been halted in the GOP-dominated legislature. Mark Jones, a political science fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, elected him the second most liberal Democrat in the Texas House in 2021, according to the voting record.

Beckley’s campaign declined to comment on the story.

Politically, there is little light between the two candidates.

Both candidates expressed support for legalizing marijuana, expanding Medicaid in Texas, tackling climate change, stabilizing the state’s electricity grid, increasing funding for public schools and protecting abortion rights.

Collier said closing the corporate tax gap would increase public school funding by about $ 5 billion without raising taxes for “ordinary Texans.”

The two Democrats differ in their experiences.

Collier is working on his ability to defeat Patrick. Zaidi said Collier’s campaign during his last campaign against Patrick extended this election period “more than all of 2018” and saw his confirmation as a sign of election.

“People who are in the business of winning the election and in the operations of the state government think that Mike is the best person to serve not only with Dan Patrick, but also as a lieutenant governor,” Zaidi said.

Beckley told SpectrumNews1 that he thinks he is the best candidate because he knows the legislature could be a “viper’s nest.”

“I think Democrats should go with the winners and the same old ones who are different from the old ones,” he said. “It’s not good enough to get close.”

Regardless of who wins in May, both candidates will join hands with Patrick, who has never lost a state election in November and is running for a third term as a lieutenant governor. Patrick, now known in Texas politics, has established himself as a lightning rod by tackling issues such as ending his university career and drafting the Texas version of Florida’s Gay Say bill.

Patrick’s reputation could also provide some positives for Collier and Beckley in the general election. “They have some opportunities there because they have a problem of their own,” said Kirby Goidel, a professor of political science at Texas A&M University. “It may be easier to fight him than Greg Abbott, but you need the money and you need exposure to be able to do that.”

According to the Texas Policy Project, Patrick’s positive feedback survey is 35% somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable, and 35% somewhat favorable or very unfavorable.

Goidel said that being famous and having a positive reputation are two obstacles that Beckley and Collier will have to overcome in the early stages.

“I think the key is that voters will choose who gets the most votes,” Goidel said. “If you don’t care about big politics, the real question is ‘Which candidate is more popular?’ and ‘Which candidate do you think can win?’ This leads to a lot of preliminary voting. “

With several political differences between them, Goidel said approvals could help separate the candidates. Planned Parenthood, a local political arm of Beckley Planned Parenthood, has been named Texas Votes’ 2021 Legislative Champion. But Collier in particular won the organization’s approval – a Goidel said that at the end of this summer, Roe v. Given the latest news about Wade’s cancellation, there is potential to help Collier after the second round.

“If you think about public opinion, even in Texas, a lot of people are worried about the idea of ​​banning abortion and making it completely illegal in all cases,” Goidel said. Collier was also supported in this year’s election by various trade unions, Democratic groups and elected officials:

Texas American Teachers Federation

Texas State Workers Union

Democrats Donna Howard, Eddie Rodriguez and Gene Wu

Beckley, meanwhile, says on his website that he has previously won the support of Texas AFL-CIO, Texas AFT and other groups in previous elections. He has no confirmation of being listed after 2020 for the lieutenant governor race.

A number of Texas newspaper editorial boards also supported the contest. Collier has the approval of several of the state’s largest publications, including The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Chronicle.

The Texas Tribune does not have an editorial board and does not provide political support.

This article was originally published in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/05/13/mike-collier-michelle-beckley-texas-democrats-lieutenant-governor/.

The Texas Tribune is an impartial newsroom, supported by members who inform and engage Texans about public policy and policy. Learn more at texastribune.org.

Candidates for Texas lieutenant governor share their experiences

Source link Candidates for Texas lieutenant governor share their experiences

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