As a part of his campaign route around Texas, Democratic Texas Lt. Gov. candidate Mike Collier made a stop in Aggieland.
After traveling 1,018 miles while visiting different cities across Texas since launching his campaign on Monday, Oct. 4, Collier made a stop in Bryan-College Station to hold a gathering at Sue Haswell Park on Thursday, Oct. 12. Collier shared his campaign priorities as well as listened to citizen concerns.
From Pre-K to graduate school, the two-time University of Texas graduate said a main focus of his campaign was public education including lowering the cost of college tuition. Collier said he would like to see an increase in the amount of money going to fund schools in Texas to offset high tuition costs and the number of student loans.
“Tuition is too high, [and] people have to borrow too much money,” Collier said. “It wasn't like that when I was in college in the 80s. Tuition was very low because the state funded the universities to a much greater extent than they do today. I'd love to see us get back to where we have enough state money coming to the universities, so that we have world class universities, like the whole world admires.”
After a historic and devastating storm hit Texas in February earlier this year, Collier said it is vital to get the energy grid fixed for the state.
“[Texas] should be [a] leader in the energy transition, and I know Texas A&M has a fabulous engineering school and fabulous technology horsepower,” Collier said. “I'm sure they have a very strong desire to be on the cutting edge of that, and the state should be on it.”
Collier said there is a real concern regarding political leaders in Texas honoring Constitutional rights and said he hopes to resolve uneasy feelings.
“I'm very much pro-LGBT[Q+] and [believe in] the right to, to live in love as your creator intended,” Collier said. “And [also] then a woman's right to be in control of her own destiny or her own healthcare.”
In his 2018 campaign, Collier came within 4.8 percentage votes of acting Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the closest race for lieutenant governor in over two decades. He also outperformed Democratic candidate Beto O'Rourke in two-thirds of Texas counties. Additionally, his campaign team said he has raised over a million dollars through his exploratory committee before the official launch of his campaign.
As for differences in his 2018 campaign and now, Collier said they are similar, since those issues have not been resolved in Texas.
“There's a great sense of urgency now like I hadn't seen before, and there's much more energy around [these issues],” Collier said. “If you believe in the Constitution, and if you believe in democracy, as I do, then you're very worried about what you see taking shape in Texas. It's driven by power, and that's wrong. So this campaign is all largely about doing right.”
Between his previous campaign and now, Collier served as President Joe Biden’s senior advisor for the state of Texas.
Collier said he encourages people to go out and vote because when they don't, he believes corruption enters the picture.
“Democracy doesn't work if people don't vote — and corruption enters the picture when people don't [vote],” Collier said. “You see political leaders much more concerned about their personal power than they are about making sure their policies make sense to the majority of people.”
Though voting in all elections is important, state and local politics are what affect your day-to-day life, Collier said, so it is important to also vote in midterm elections, where voter turnout is statistically low.
“Midterm elections really, really matter in terms of how the government affects people in their lives,” Collier said.
Collier and his team are now headed to Austin and then continue on to Houston in his 30-day tour of Texas.