Texas

Largely aligned with politics, Democratic runners-up runners-up impose their experience

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As nominations for governor have already been determined, the top of the ballot for the Democratic primary will run this month will be the election between Mike Collier and Carolton State Representative Michelle Beckley as vice governor.

The winner of the May 24 race will face Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who has already won the Republican primary in March. Patrick is well-funded and a Democrat who has not won a state office in Texas since 1994. Early voting is May 16-20.

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Collier and Beckley defeated Carla Braley, a former vice president of the Texas Democratic Party, in the March 1 primary, finishing first and second, respectively. Collier finished with about 41% of the vote, while Beckley received about 30%.

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

What does the vice-governor do?

The vice governor oversees the 31-member state senate, making him the most powerful elected member of the Texas legislature. The employee can dictate much of the state’s policy by influencing which bills move forward and which are suspended.

The Vice-Governorship can also help officials to occupy higher positions. Rick Perry, one of the most prominent Texas politicians in modern history, served before becoming governor of Texas, launching a presidential campaign and serving as US Secretary of Energy under former President Donald Trump.

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If a Democrat wins the seat, they could defend the party’s legislative priorities, which often fail to be implemented in the Republican-controlled Senate, and block Republican law.

Who is Mike Collier?

Collier, an accountant and auditor, has never held an elected office. However, he highlighted his experience with campaigns across the state, in particular his campaign for lieutenant governor in 2018, in which he reached 5 percentage points since the removal of Patrick. The vice-governor won his seat in 2014 by 20 percentage points. Collier is closest to a Democratic victory over Patrick, who first ran for the Texas Senate in 2006.

Collier was identified as a Republican before running for office and twice voted against former President Barack Obama. But his campaign focused on more recent efforts to support Democratic candidates, including fundraising as financial chairman of the Texas Democratic Party. He was also appointed senior adviser to President Joe Biden in Texas in 2020.

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Supporting public education is what first motivated Collier to run for public office, according to his campaign, and he has experience in the Texas energy industry as a financial consultant and former chief financial officer of Layline Petroleum. This experience in the energy industry will be useful, said Ali S. Zaydi, Collier’s campaign manager, given the country’s recent problems with the country’s energy grid.

“He has spent his entire life working in the energy industry, especially renewables, over the past few years,” Zaidi said, “… but also to ensure that Texas remains the world’s energy capital, while tackling climate change and ensuring that the future of energy is forged right here in the state. ”

Who is Michelle Beckley?

Beckley owns a small business at the Kookaburra Bird Shop in Carolton and has served two terms as a state representative for Denton County. In 2018, she transferred her seat to Republicans and criticized Republican Party leaders and Republican colleagues while in office.

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Beckley drew national attention last summer when he joined a group of Democrat lawmakers who fled to Washington, D.C., in a bid to block Republican voting legislation. About a month after the bill was signed last fall, Beckley announced he was running for vice governor to halt Republican efforts such as restricting the right to vote and access to abortion.

“I’m running for vice governor because politicians put ideology ahead of results that matter to Texans,” Beckley said last November, citing his legislative experience.

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During the regular legislative session in 2021, Beckley introduced bills trying to address health insurance, improve power grid communication and voting, and repeal the language in the Texas Constitution, which restricts marriage to a union between a man and a woman. . Many of Beckley’s legislative efforts have stalled in the Republican-dominated legislature. Mark Jones, a political science fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University, ranked her as the second most liberal Democrat in the Texas House in 2021 based on her voting record.

Beckley’s campaign declined to comment on the story.

How do they differ?

There is little daylight between the two candidates from a political point of view.

Both candidates said they support the legalization of marijuana, the expansion of Medicaid in Texas, tackling climate change, stabilizing the state’s electricity grid, increasing funding for public schools and protecting abortion rights.

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Collier said he would increase funding for public schools by nearly $ 5 billion without raising taxes on “ordinary Texans” by closing the corporate tax loophole.

The two Democrats differ in their experience.

Collier is working on his ability to beat Patrick. Zaidi said Collier’s campaign raised this election cycle more than “all of 2018” during his last campaign against Patrick, and saw his support as a sign of eligibility.

“People involved in the US government’s election-winning business and operations all think Mike is the best man not only to take on Dan Patrick, but also to serve as vice governor,” Zaidi said.

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

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“I think Democrats have to deal with what they win and what is different from the same old, the same old,” she said. “Approaching just isn’t good enough.”

No matter who wins in May, each candidate will have his hands full in November with Patrick, who has never lost an election across the state and is aiming for a third term as vice governor. Now a prominent name in Texas politics, Patrick has established himself as a lightning rod, addressing issues such as the termination of his university term and the development of a Texas version of the Don’t Say Gay bill in Florida.

However, Patrick’s reputation may yield some positive results in the general election for Collier and Beckley. “They have some opportunity there because he has his own problem with sympathy,” said Kirby Goidel, a professor of political science at Texas A&M University. “It may be easier to face him than it is to face Greg Abbott, but you need the money and you need exposure to be able to do that.

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According to the Texas Politics Project, Patrick’s favor poll is 35% somewhat unfavorable or very unfavorable and 35% somewhat favorable or very favorable.

Goidel said that becoming well-known and having positive name recognition are two obstacles Beckley and Collier will have to overcome in the primary.

“I think the key is that voters will choose who is the most eligible,” Goidel said. “If you don’t have big differences in political issues, the real question is, ‘Which candidate is nicer?’ And ‘Which candidate do you think might win?’

Who approves them?

With few political differences between them, Goidel said approvals could help differentiate candidates from each other. Beckley was recognized by Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, a local political division of Planned Parenthood, as the legislative champion for 2021. But Collier won special approval from the organization – one Goedel said he had the potential to help Collier after the run-off, for the likely reversal of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court later this summer.

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“If you think about public opinion, even in Texas, many people are worried about banning abortion and making it completely illegal under any circumstances,” Goidel said. Collier was also supported by various unions, democratic groups and elected officials in this year’s primary:

Beckley, meanwhile, said on her website that she had previously received approval from the Texas AFL-CIO, Texas AFT and other groups during previous elections. She has not listed approvals after 2020 for the vice governor’s race.

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

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The Texas Tribune does not have an editorial board and does not make political approvals.

Disclosure: Mexico Center – James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Planned Parenthood, Rice University, University of Texas A&M and Texas AFT are financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a non-profit, non-partisan news organization funded in part by donations from members foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in Tribune journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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Largely aligned with politics, Democratic runners-up runners-up impose their experience

Source link Largely aligned with politics, Democratic runners-up runners-up impose their experience

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