Texas’ Lieutenant Governor is not only in charge of the state should the Governor be unavailable, but also leads the State Senate, making the Lt. Governor an extremely powerful officeholder. Current Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, well-loved by Texas conservatives, handily beat his Republican primary challenger, Scott Milder, 76.07% to 23.93%.
Yet instead of operating under a theme of party unity, Midler has now endorsed Patrick’s Democrat challenger for the November general election, Mike Collier. Milder’s reasoning? He claims Patrick is too extreme for Texas.
Collier is an accountant, owns an oil and gas business, and resides in Houston. Much like Midler’s failed campaign against the Lt. Governor, Collier is attempting to sway voters by reminding them of Patrick’s controversial support for the “Bathroom Bill” or “Texas Privacy Act,” (depending on which side voters are on) and trying to tap into anger surrounding Texas’ struggling public schools.
Here’s a quick look at the numbers:
|Texas Lieutenant Governor – By The Numbers|
|Dan Patrick (I)||Mike Collier|
|Total Money Raised||$8,382,588.65||$355,595.82|
|Total Number of Donations||1,280||2,893|
|Average Donation Amount||$6,548.90||$122.91|
|Total Votes (in Primary)||1,172,830||504,220|
|Cost Per Vote||$9.98||$1.24|
The contest for Lt. Governor is sure to be closely watched as we head into November, but not because the race will be close. To say Collier’s chances of beating Patrick are slim is overly generous, as is the case for virtually all statewide Democrats looking to unseat Republicans. The real reason many political insiders will elevate this race is Patrick’s unwillingness to play the usual inside-Austin political games. Rather, Patrick pushes conservative agenda items the Austin lobby would prefer to ignore. A weakened Lt. Governor — should he win by a narrower margin than other statewide Republicans — might be less willing to give Austin politicos the cold shoulder.
Key Takeaways From the Lieutenant Governor Race:
Before you go…
Who knew the Texas Dental Association (TDA) had so much cash? In December, the Texas Dental Association contributed $50,000 to Patrick. Interestingly, the group had also donated $10,000 to Patrick’s counterpart and political nemesis, Speaker of the Texas House Joe Straus in September, one month before Straus announced he was not seeking re-election. Perhaps the TDA’s generosity with Patrick was an attempt to get back on the powerful politician’s good side.
Our Race to Raise series takes a deeper look at the most high-profile races of the election cycle, focusing specifically on money raised by those seeking to serve in public office. Stay tuned for the next installment.