About Mike Collier
“I’m Dan Patrick’s worst nightmare. I’m a Democrat with a CPA license.” --Mike Collier
Mike Collier’s background is not that of a traditional politician. He is a CPA who began his career at Exxon and later went to work for the large accounting firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He worked for 10 years in the PwC audit practice, became a top aide to the PwC World Chairman, and became a partner, working in Houston with large energy clients. After leaving PwC, Collier helped create a successful Texas oil company. Collier ran for comptroller in 2014 and lost. Now he is running for lieutenant governor. Collier is a graduate of Georgetown High School in Williamson County. He attended the University of Texas at Austin where he played trumpet in the Longhorn Band and earned an undergraduate degree and an MBA. He and his wife Suzanne live in the Houston area. They have two sons who are also graduates of UT, Austin.
Collier focuses keenly on problems with public school funding and property taxes. He describes a circular process in which the state decreases funding for public schools, necessitating increases in property taxes by local school districts. Then the state further cuts school funding because of the increase in local taxes. According to Collier, the “Robin Hood” or recapture system, whereby wealthy school districts pay money to the state to help fund poorer school districts, is a sham because the state siphons the money for general state expenses. Collier proposes to increase funding for public schools while protecting local property owners from constantly rising taxes by closing corporate loopholes that allow large corporations huge breaks in property taxes. Collier also has a plan for reducing healthcare costs that includes accepting federal money from Medicaid expansion and requiring transparency about the costs of medical services and drugs. He supports criminal justice reform, including reduction of unwarranted incarceration and an emphasis or rehabilitation for non-violent, first time offenders. With regard to school and gun safety, Collier favors effective background checks, red flag laws, and increasing the number of mental health professionals in the schools. He would like to create an independent Audit, Performance, and Integrity Commission to enforce checks against power and corruption.
The lieutenant governor is the second-highest ranking official in the executive branch of the Texas government. The lieutenant governor is elected independently from the governor, serves as the president of the Texas senate, and controls appointments to senate committees. Unlike most other states, the lieutenant governor attends and actively controls senate sessions and also controls assignment of legislation to committees. As such, this position is considered by many to be the most powerful in state government.
Collier’s opponent is former conservative talk radio host and Republican incumbent Dan Patrick. According to Patrick’s website, under his leadership “the Texas Senate has dramatically increased funding for border security, ended sanctuary cities, enhanced pro-life protections, and protected religious freedoms.” Patrick is most famous for his attempts to pass the “bathroom bill,” which would have required people to use to the bathroom corresponding to the gender on their birth certificates. Even though it did not pass, consideration of this bill is said to have cost Texas millions of dollars in tourism.