Democratic business leader Mike Collier running for Lt. Governor - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Democratic business leader Mike Collier running for Lt. Governor

(Source: KWES) (Source: KWES)

Mike Collier, a Democratic CPA and business leader is running for Lieutenant Governor for 2018. He was in the Basin Saturday talking to residents about what his top priorities would be as Lieutenant Governor.

He said public education and teachers is his top priority. 

"I think we have an obligation to any child in Texas, they ought to have a fair shot, not just the sons and daughters of the well-to-do," said Collier. "I'm very concerned about the teacher retirement system that Republicans in Austin are underfunding. I think it's unfair, it's un-Texan."

His second priority involves lowering property taxes for homeowners in small businesses. He said property taxes can't be fixed until school finance is fixed. 

"I'm a CPA so I know how the pieces fit together," he said. "I was in land management in Exxon for two years. I was an auditor for a long time, most of my work in accounting has been with the oil and gas arena."

He said his top concern in the oil and gas industry is looking into the under funding of the Railroad Commission.

"You have delays of getting permits, there's inherent risk of having engineers on staff, it's astonishing conservatives would under fund the railroad commission when it's so essential to our oil and gas industry," said Collier.

Collier also spoke about the state in need of a state auditor. The previous auditor John Keel stepped down in January 2016 and the spot has not been filled.

"The responsible officer to hire a new state auditor is Dan Patrick," said Collier. "Unbelievable as it may seem, the state has been operating without a state auditor."

Collier also mentioned the concern on The Public Integrity Unit in Travis County has been budget cut. 

"That capability has been rolled into the bureaucracy which is not a good answer," said Collier. "There's no independent watch dog. That's very bad for the state. What I plan to do is take what I know from my work in the private sector and redesign and restructure the audit and integrity units. I'm not asking for people to trust me, I'm asking for one thing: to earn their trust."

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