HOUSTON (Nexstar) — Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Mike Collier’s campaign said he has met with more than a dozen elected Republican officials and has been publicly endorsed by two.
Collier will have to compete with Republican incumbent Dan Patrick’s campaign war chest and lead in the polls. New polling out this week from the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin shows Patrick leading by seven percentage points amongst registered voters.
The former Republican hopes his GOP roots, coupled with dissatisfaction in how Patrick has handled the job, will bring crossover Republican votes in his favor come November. According to the poll, 32% of registered voters “disapprove strongly” of Patrick’s work as lieutenant governor.
“I think Texans are really, really tired of partisan warfare,” Collier said in an interview with Nexstar. “I talk honestly about my career as a businessman, as an energy guy. I used to be Republican, that I can build a coalition not only across the state, but across the aisle.”
The Democratic nominee was recently endorsed by two Texas Republicans — who are on their way out of office. State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said they would be voting for Collier. Seliger told the Texas Tribune Patrick has created a culture of “vindictiveness” and “maliciousness” but has been known in the legislature to butt heads with the leader of the Senate.
Patrick seldom mentions his opponent in his campaign ads or when making his rounds of television and radio appearances on conservative media. He did, however, try to tie Collier with the president in an interview with Nexstar affiliate KAMC — noting the Democrat advised Joe Biden during his 2020 presidential campaign.
“Mike Collier would be a disaster lieutenant governor,” Patrick told KAMC. “I don’t think Lubbock or West Texas or Texas wants to vote for a local Joe Biden as the lieutenant governor.”
There’s room for both candidates or even the Libertarian one to pick up votes, with 20% of voters saying they “haven’t thought about it enough to have an opinion,” when it comes to their choice for lieutenant governor, according to the poll.
In the 2018 elections, Patrick won with 51% of the vote. Collier lost, receiving 46% of the vote.