Houston accountant Mike Collier, a graduate of Georgetown High School and the University of Texas in Austin, held a rally in Round Rock Saturday to announce his candidacy for lieutenant governor of Texas.
Collier, a Democrat, is seeking to unseat Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and become the first Democrat lieutenant governor in Texas in almost 20 years. Campaigning on a platform of improving public education and changing Texas' fiscal policies, Collier could prove a formidable challenger for the controversial Patrick.
"I am Dan Patrick's worst nightmare," Collier said in an interview. "I am not a politician. I am a Democrat. And, I am a certified public accountant." Collier so far is unopposed in the March 6, 2018 Democrat primary.
Collier said he has been traveling Texas and speaking to voters across the state in preparation for his campaign for the lieutenant governor's office.
"I am confident that I will run a winning campaign and send Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick into retirement," he said.
Collier claimed Saturday that Patrick panders to voters that support ultra-conservative policies and said the incumbent lieutenant governor "is at war with Texas teachers."
"Dan Patrick is hostile to teachers and public education. What I want to do is improve our public education," Collier said. "Texas public schools need help and our teachers and retired teachers are fearful. Texans want good public schools."
Collier also said he wanted to fix Texas fiscal policies.
"We have a property tax crisis in the state and as a result of our outstanding bonds and unfunded pension liabilities, Texas is one of the most indebted states in the country," he said. "Texans want a top leader who is fiscally responsible, who will champion public education. Someone who will work to close loopholes and reform school funding to make property taxes fair again, and someone who will concentrate on creating good paying jobs.
"Imagine what Texas will be like when our state’s lieutenant governor is not a politician, but a business professional and certified public accountant," Collier said. "I hope to earn Texans’ trust and become that leader. I am Texas proud. And, I view the world like a lot of Texans do."