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Meet & Greet Rally Hosted For Mike Collier, Democratic Candidate For Lt. Governor

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A meet and greet rally was hosted Tuesday at Sulphur Springs Country Club for Mike Collier, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.

Democrats from Hopkins and surrounding counties attended, including Wood, Hunt, Lamar, Titus, Rains and Rockwall counties.

Mike Collier, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor

One woman from Hunt County brought to the Sept. 27, 2022 rally a pooch she introducted as ” the official canine mascot of Hunt County Democratic Party.” She said “Bitty” met Beto O’Rourke at the 2022 Texas State Democratic Convention and gave his approval, wholeheartedly endorsing the state candidate. She offered buttons promoting “Bitty for Beto — Beto For All,” in English and Spanish for a $5 donation, which serve to not only spread awareness for the candidate but also the Hunt County Democratic Party.

Bill Brannon introduced notable past and present dignitaries and guests, including former Congressman Jim Chapman and former State Rep. Mark Homer. Sulphur Springs High School graduate Kendall Scudder, Vice Chair for Finance of the Texas Democratic Party, also was present.

“We are living in perilous times. We are living in dangerous times in America. We are living are living in a country that we can literally say without exaggerating that democracy is absolutely on the line, and it’s on the line in 44 days,” Chapman said, referring to the Nov. 8 election.

The former congressman said there are people that don’t believe the last election was conducted properly and, thus, don’t believe Biden was rightfully elected. Chapman said if the more than 200 on ballots around the state who believe that way are elected in 2022 and 2024, “it won’t matter how we vote, because they’re going to go the other direction as long as the other direction is putting a Republican in office.”

“You don’t have to go very far into the weeds to see how real it is, how dangerous it is and how we have to be so careful and work so hard to protect what 246 years ago our founding Fathers did when they created the Constitution,” Chapman said. “It’s serious. It’s not just about getting someone who lines up with someone else on our particular issues. It’s about whether we’re going to maintain American Democracy or not. That’s how serious it is.”

Chapman said Texas is fortunate to have Mike Collier as a Democratic candidate who will go up against those opposed to those values, and emphasized the important need to get everyone out to vote.

He thanked everyone for attending and Brannon for all he’s done, concluding encouraging all to roll up their sleeves to help get their candidates to the finish line.

Former State Representative Mark Homer noted a change in Texas in 2003, when the majority of elected officials in the House were Republican. He said even then, people like Bill Ratliff tried to work together in the House. As things progressed, Homer said, things got “a little meaner, a little uglier, further separated.” He said while 2010 at the time was one of the worst moments of his life because he was not reelected to office, it turned out to be “probably one of the best things that ever happened to me.” He wondered at people who had previously supported him suddenly changing political parties to no longer identify as Democrats but as Republicans. He said it’s a sad state of affairs that some candidates are no longer out to just beat their opponent in office but to destroy them. That, Homer said, is a sad state of what the country has become.

“So now we have a legitimate, strong change to make a change back to full democratic beliefs, or at least start getting us back to toward the middle, where we can look at our opponent friends and say, “Hey, let’s work together.’ Compromise would be a good word again, and talk about it. That real, legitimate shot today is Mike Collier,” Homer said.

Homer said, to him, the first office that “has to change” is the lieutenant governor’s office. Electing Mike Collier would be a step in the right direction.

“So, I am here asking you as friends, as someone who supported me for 12 years… to find that effort and do the same for Mike Collier,” Homer said.

Homer said the vote in November is “the most important we’ll ever take” to “save our country.” He noted the vote is “that important,” and encouraged everyone to get their eligible young relatives to vote, to not take no for an answer when it comes to getting others to go vote.

Collier said he first ran for Comptroller 9 years ago, after learning the official was stepping down and no Democratic candidate came forward, none willing to risk their political career in running for an office the party did not think their candidate could be won. He was angry with the way taxes were allocated, with funding for public schools going down. So, he put his name in for the position, with no political career, so far, to lose. Bill Brannon drove down to talk to him, and despite his lack of lack or experience, backing and campaign funding, Brannon agreed to back him.

He was defeated in his bid for Comptroller 9 years ago, but said with 44 days left to go in the 2022 campaign for the lieutenant governor he is no where near running out of energy. He thanked Brannon for being a coach, mentor and friend every step of the way.

“I ran against Dan Patrick 4 years ago and came close. The reason for the rematch is we did really, really well in rural Texas because we had cross-over votes,” Collier said, noting that while overall Beto O’Rourke got more votes than him, in a rural Texas “which is dominated by Republican politics, he got more votes that O’Rourke. “The only way to explain that is Republicans crossing over to vote for me because they don’t like Dan Patrick and they know how important it is to have a lieutenant governor who believes in democracy. I believe we need those votes to win. I know we need to win. That’s the reason for the rematch.”

Collier said, about 6 weeks ago, three prominent Republicans crossed party lines to endorse him, and he believes “there will be others” who do so as well.

“What’s happening is, this campaign feels like it’s taking shape. It really is beginning to feel like a nonpartisan movement to change the politics in this state, which we must do. And, I am so honored to be at the center of this,” Collier said. “I can tell you, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

He said the very best part is that not one Republican who has said I’m going to help you, publicly or not, has has disagreed with any plank on my platform.” He feels the majority of the state will agree as well.

Collier said his platform is very simple: improve public education for all, lower property taxes and give more funding to schools. He said expanding Medicaid and healthcare, and fixing the power grid are also important.

It starts with public education, having great schools for all children, to full the moral obligation so that every young person receives the education be successful, Collier said. In order to have great public schools, teachers have to be excited about being teachers and the decisions they make. Talking to educators, they say smaller class sizes are needed to effectively teach children, special education support, counselors are needed, stop teaching to the test, paying teachers properly so they don’t regret their decision to become teachers, and retirement security for teachers, the Democratic candidate said.

“The hardest part is the money,” Collier said. “As a CPA, here’s the deal, if you’re paying property taxes because you own a home, you’re being ripped off. Your property taxes keep going up and up and up, and your money is not going into public education. The reason why taxes keep going up is state fiscal policy. The state puts in less, so you put more and you’re not getting more. It just isn’t right.”

Collier believes the solution is to “close the corporate loopholes” that prevent hte money from flowing into the treasury.

The Democratic lieutenant governor candidate said his platform also includes expanding Medicaid, which his sources are telling him Republican except his opponent are in favor of. He believes expanding that will help with the problem of small hospitals closing in small towns and rural Texas.

He believes in protecting health rights and said water issues, expanding broadband internet connectivity and transportation and infrastructure are also big issues in Texas that need to be addressed.

Author: Faith Huffman

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