HOUSTON, Texas — Political races typically heat-up after Labor Day; however, there is one statewide race that has been pretty heated, at least by one of the candidates, for many months prior to this holiday. The race for Texas Comptroller is a tale of contrasts. Senator Glenn Hegar is running a positive and effective grassroots effort and his internal polling numbers give him a 21-point lead. His opponent, Mike Collier, is running one of the most consistently negative campaigns in the state. Breitbart Texas was at the Democratic Convention this summer when Collier took the stage and campaigned against his Republican opponent. His campaign style has escalated and he has spent over $1 million dollars on negative television ads. Collier has also spent thousands of dollars on digital attack ads.
He also calls Hegar a “career politician” and says that Hegar does not care about Texas schoolchildren or Texas teachers. Hegar’s opponent calls Republican nominees and Hegar “Tea Party candidates.”
Collier claims that he will be a “watchdog” that will hold the Republican-controlled legislature accountable.
Collier contrasts himself with Hegar and distances himself from the abortion issue saying that abortion has “nothing to do with accounting.”
Breitbart Texas talked to Senator Glenn Hegar about Collier’s consistent use of negative campaigning. His response was that his is a positive vision for Texas.
Hegar said that his top priority in the race is to convey to voters his vision for the future of our state, and to offer solutions to challenges. He said his focus is on issues important to all Texans, like keeping the states’ economy strong and keeping its finances in order. Hegar also said he is a firm believer and promoter of transparency in state government.
Hegar told Breitbart Texas that Collier would have folks believe that he is against public schools. The Senator said that he is a father to three children who attend public schools in Katy, Texas. He says he has voted to adequately fund the public school system and has voted to protect the high standards that students and teachers should be held to.
Referring to his opponent, the theme of one of Collier’s ads is that the “Tax Man Cometh.” The ad tells the viewer to “Be very afraid.”
By contrast, Hegar’s ad concentrates on his work ethic, being raised on a farm, and serving the people of Texas as the next Comptroller.
Hegar says that he has a proven, conservative record. He touts his part in cutting taxes, passing tort reform, and chairing a committee that cut waste and inefficiency in state government. He says he has experience serving on the finance committee and balancing state budgets.
Tyler Norris, a GOP political consultant based in Austin told Breitbart Texas “Glenn Hegar has set out a clear vision for the Comptroller’s office going forward. His opponent went up on TV extremely early with self-funded attack ads, but Hegar’s solid game plan has kept the endorsements and donations rolling in. No amount of slick TV ads or online advertising is going to convince Texans a tax-and-spend Democrat should be running our finances. This race is viewed by most as a campaign of attack ads vs. a campaign for the future of Texas.”
Republican Paul Bettencourt, the presumptive new State Senator for Senate District 7 in Houston, told Breitbart Texas “Collier’s television ad on Hegar — Everyone comments to me that it is great that Glenn speaks out against property taxes!”
There is less than two months to go before the November elections. It will be interesting to see if the contrasting campaign styles continue.
Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2