Earlier this month the Burnt Orange Report wrote about a “Mystery Houston-Area Democrat” who was building a statewide team, it turns out that man is Mike Collier, and although his campaign is still officially in the exploratory phase, he wants to be the next Comptroller for the state of Texas. The Houston businessman believes our state government needs an experienced CFO to handle its complex accounting and to hold our current elected officials accountable.
Collier not only wants the job, but believes he is the most qualified. He says Texas needs a Comptroller with a professional financial background and one who is not using the position as a stepping stone for higher office.
“For too long, the people we've hired to mind Texas' tax dollars have been more interested in their political ambition than in holding politicians accountable. Texas needs a Comptroller who has the courage to tell taxpayers the truth and who has the know-how to hold the Texas legislature accountable.”
Collier says his business experience will be attractive to conservatives but that, “the Comptroller shouldn't be beholden to the Republican party,” instead they should offer an independent view of the state's finances. He served as executive assistant to the world chairman of Price Waterhouse, the world's largest professional services firm with over 100,000 employees. He was a partner at Price Waterhouse Coopers for a dozen years and for a time served as a Merger and Acquisition consultant for their major energy clients. He left PWC to become Chief Financial Officer for an energy company. He then met a crossroads after he helped sell the company two years later — take a lucrative job in the private sector or step up and run for public office.
Find out why Collier passed up collecting more money for his own bank account for the chance to watch over our state's…He knows a Democrat hasn't won statewide in almost 20 years but says that doesn't bother him a bit. He has studied the match up and thinks there are several major factors that make this race competitive. For starters he has talked to hundreds of members in the business community that have encouraged him to run, including many conservatives, and says like Texas parents they have serious concerns about the future of our public education system. Collier knows if we fail to make the proper investments in education that businesses will stop relocating to our state. “People really do want change in the quality of their government. I think if I can get the word out, and people become familiar with my background I'll get a lot of Independent votes and crossover votes.”
He is encouraged by the crowded field in the Republican primary which could leave the emerging candidate bloodied and broke. Another reason he cited was the “Wendy Davis factor”. He looks forward to her campaign energizing the donor base and spearheading an effective effort to get out the vote, but says that it's her polling with anglos that could give Democrats the best opportunity to win that they have had in a very long time.
Collier says he may not share Republicans' views on the most current and controversial social issues, but that he is looking forward to making a strong appeal to all voters by focusing on ways to improve the office. One issue he is finding major traction with across the business community is the poor use of the Rainy Day Fund with regards to education and important strategic investments in our infrastructure. He also wants to bring back the Texas Performance Review, created by John Sharp, to find efficiencies and savings in government. That would allow the some scrutiny of legislators' budget priorities. He would be positioned to highlight the contrast between Texas Republicans' fiscally conservative reputation and the true cost of failing to invest in the basic services our state needs to grow and stay competitive.
The candidate has been working with the Texas Democratic Party to put a team together that includes fundraisers, media consultants and field operatives. His current website is a splash page where you can sign up for campaign updates or give a donation. Democrats still have a long way to go to fill out a complete slate for 2014 but by all accounts Collier is a great addition.