Sep 15, 2022 - News

Texas GOP leaders endorse Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's opponent

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick at a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in May 2020. Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republican leaders around the state have announced they'll vote for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick's opponent, Democrat Mike Collier, in November.

The big picture: Collier is leaning into his own Republican background, introducing himself in ads as "a businessman, energy expert and former Republican." In his most recent ad, Collier says he knows "a lot of good Texas Republicans, and Dan Patrick ain't one of them."

The latest: The Tarrant County Republican Party denounced County Judge Glen Whitley's recent endorsement of Collier. Whitley, a Republican who's overseen the state's largest GOP-leaning county since 2007, isn't running for re-election.

  • State Sen. Kel Seliger of Amarillo, another Republican who isn't running for re-election, recently announced he, too, plans to vote for Collier, calling Patrick an "extremist."
  • Former Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a Republican who lost her bid to replace Whitley as Tarrant County judge, has said she also won't vote along party lines.

State of play: Whitley has taken issue with Patrick's push to limit how much local municipalities could raise property taxes, pointing out that local officials wouldn't have to raise tax rates if the state put more funding toward infrastructure and schools.

  • Seliger has battled with Patrick over the lieutenant governor's support for private school vouchers. After he voted against bills Patrick had supported, Seliger's district was reconfigured in a way he felt he could no longer win.

Between the lines: Patrick also made national headlines in 2020 when he suggested that he and other seniors would be willing to die if it helped boost the economy.

The other side: Patrick's campaign dismissed Seliger and Whitley as "dinosaurs" searching for relevance on their way out of office, according to the Texas Tribune.

Meanwhile: Democratic state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., from the Rio Grande Valley, announced this month that he's crossing party lines in the other direction, endorsing Patrick.

The bottom line: Recent polling shows that Patrick leads Collier by seven points, though Collier has purchased advertising on Fox News and Joe Rogan's podcast to boost his profile among male voters.


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