Given that we are guaranteed to have an entirely new set of statewide officeholders after this election no matter who wins, there are a lot of candidates with current or past experience as elected officials, or at least as candidates. Despite that, one of the most compelling candidates running this year is a first timer, Mike Collier, the Democratic candidate running for Comptroller. Collier is a career accountant, which you would think would be the norm for the state’s top financial officer, but it’s not. It was his experience as an accountant that led him to believe something was seriously wrong with how the Comptroller was estimating revenue for the 2011 legislative session, when incumbent Susan Combs projected a $28 billion deficit that turned out to be far off base but which led to devastating budget cuts for public education. His experience as an auditor led him to be critical of the Major Events Trust Fund and its unaccountable giveaway of millions of dollars to Formula One in Austin. His no-nonsense approach and sensible talk about ensuring the integrity of Texas’ finances have led him to be endorsed so far by the Statesman, the Caller, and now the Chronicle. Listen to him for a few minutes and you’ll see why he’s made such an impressive case for himself. Here’s the interview:
I will wrap up candidate interviews next week, and as noted before will continue to run judicial Q&As for as long as I receive responses.
UPDATE: The DMN endorsed Collier over the weekend.