The 2018 election cycle is officially underway. Many running in statewide races kicked off their campaigns this week by filing their candidacy with the state, including some Democrats vying to head up the top of the party’s ticket in November.
It’s no secret those running as a Democrat have an uphill climb when comes to unseating Republican incumbents like Gov. Greg Abbott or Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who both filed their paperwork with the state this past weekend.
The challenge isn’t deterring Mike Collier. The Houston certified public accountant paid the $3,750 state fee to enter the 2018 lieutenant governor's race as a Democrat.
“It takes a lot of money to win a statewide race in Texas and so I’ve got a lot of work to do to raise money,” he said. “He starts with a head start and I get that. But there’s a strong desire to see someone beat Dan Patrick and it’s going to come down to me.”
But first, Collier has to defeat Fort Worth Pastor Michael Cooper to win the party’s nomination during the March 6 primary. In 2014, Collier lost the Texas comptroller race to Republican Glen Hegar by more than 20 points.
Mark Jones, with Rice University’s Baker Institute of Public Policy, said candidates like Collier have the challenge of raising enough campaign funds to compete in these statewide elections and face the challenge of a lack of name recognition.
“He’s not going to embarrass the party but he certainly isn’t going to be bringing any votes to the party,” he said. “And it only gets weaker as we go down the list."
Jones said while at the statewide level things look dismal for Texas Democrats. He said, there is a sharp contrast when comes to the party’s chances of winning back several congressional seats in 2018.
“Will Hurd’s seat from San Antonio down to El Paso has several talented Democrats," he said. "In Houston, John Culberson’s CD 7 has four really strong Democrats running for that office and when go up to Dallas to Pete Sessions’ seat, you see three viable Democratic candidates running for that congressional seat”
The last day for anyone to officially file their candidacy with the state is Dec. 11.