Mike Collier kicks off bid for Texas lieutenant governor

Texas comptroller hopeful Mike Collier speaks during the Texas Democratic Convention in Dallas, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Texas comptroller hopeful Mike Collier speaks during the Texas Democratic Convention in Dallas, Saturday, June 28, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

ROUND ROCK, Texas (AP) — A Texas Democratic Party’s former finance chairman and a failed state comptroller candidate has formally launched his challenge of Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Mike Collier made his 2018 lieutenant governor campaign announcement Saturday at a rally in Round Rock, near Austin.

Collier, who’s an accountant from Houston, was 2014’s Democratic nominee for comptroller, but lost to Republican Glenn Hegar.

Collier has for months said he planned to challenge Patrick, a former conservative talk radio host who was has used the lieutenant governorship to push the Texas Senate farther right.

A Democrat hasn’t won statewide office in Texas since 1994.

Some conservatives say Patrick could challenge Gov. Greg Abbott in next year’s GOP primary, but Patrick insists he’ll seek re-election — making him that race’s overwhelming favorite.