Democrat Mike Collier on Monday formally launched a second try for Texas lieutenant governor in a race that also now includes former Bush campaign strategist Matthew Dowd.
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.
“I worked hard in ‘18 and now I have made some major changes in the campaign operation, kept my network intact, my name recognition strong,” Collier said.
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.
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“(Texans) do not like the direction that we are going. Our grid doesn't work, it isn't keeping up. Property taxes remain a problem. We do not have permanent funding for public education. We have not expanded Medicaid with some business community support,” Collier said.
Dowd, the onetime chief strategist to Republican President George W. Bush's 2004 reelection campaign, announced in September that he will run for lieutenant governor as a Democrat.
“I love this state. I mean I love Texas. I wasn't born here but I got here almost 40 years ago, but I hate our politics and I hate what the GOP leadership is doing," Dowd told MSNBC.
Dowd broke with former President George W. Bush over Bush's handling of the Iraq war. Dowd said the state's policies are hurting women, people of color, people without healthcare, and hurting people who depend on reliable power.
“To me, Texas right now is the front and center attack on our democracy, and at some point in time, we have to ask ourselves, 'Don’t we want integrity? Don’t we want public service? And don’t we want people that are servant leaders that serve the public good?'" Dowd asked.
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.
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