AUSTIN, Texas - Houston businessman Mike Collier officially filed the paperwork to enter the race for lieutenant governor.
Collier, who formerly worked at Exxon, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and served as Chief Financial Officer for a "successful Texas oil company," outlined a handful of his legislative priorities in a signing ceremony on Monday.
Collier said he wanted to "achieve excellence in public education, to make property taxes fair again, and to restore our state's invaluable luster in the business world."
After writing a check for $3,750, the amount required to file the paperwork needed to run, Collier explained that "Texas is losing its luster in the business community."
"Companies are shocked and embarrassed that our top leaders are off-the-charts hostile to diversity and inclusion," he added.
"If you force property taxes to explode, and use that money for corporate tax cuts, and try to blame schools, you're toast. I don't care what party you're with," Collier said, criticizing incumbent Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
"Don't spit on a Texan and tell him it's raining, as Dan Patrick has been doing to us these last several years. You'll be fired so fast it will make your head spin," Collier stated.
Current Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, tweeted on Saturday that he, too, had filed to run for his seat again.
"I announced in January that I was running for re-election as your Lt. Governor and today the papers were officially filed," his Nov. 11 tweet stated. "I will continue to fight for the conservative principles that unite us as Texans while standing up for life, liberty and Texas values."
Representatives for Patrick declined an interview request for this report, but one of his political consultants said earlier this month that Patrick was "unequivocally the hardest working, most effective, conservative leader in the history of the Texas Senate."
Allen Blakemore wrote that Patrick has "overwhelming support" among Texas GOP members, which include endorsements from U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, and Gov. Greg Abbott.
Patrick faces at least one opponent so far for the Republican nomination: Rockwall businessman Scott Milder, who had not formally filed the paperwork as of Nov. 13, but said in early November he planned to file. Milder is currently an executive at Stantec Architecture. He and his wife founded Friends of Texas Public Schools and he also served on the Rockwall city council.
“Voters want to support a rational conservative leader who will govern with common sense and focus on the critical challenges facing Texas," he said on Nov. 2, stating that Texas Republicans deserve a choice on the primary ballot.
The primary is March 6, 2018.