Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Democratic challenger, Mike Collier, have never met, according to Collier. And the two won't meet on a debate stage before Election Day.
But in the latest edition of our "Split Decision" video series, our virtual debate incorporates Collier's interview with clips from Patrick's interviews on network and local news outlets. Patrick declined The Texas Tribune's request for an interview.
The Republican incumbent has refused to debate Collier. "There isn’t anyone in the Lone Star State who isn’t absolutely clear about where Dan Patrick stands on the issues," Patrick strategist Allen Blakemore said in a statement to The Texas Tribune in July. "It’s no secret Lt. Governor Patrick relishes debates, but since his opponent shows no sign of grasping even the most basic rudiments of state government, our campaign has no plans to debate him," he said.
Collier would disagree. An accountant by trade, he says could get property tax reform passed, if elected to lead the Texas Senate. It's a priority of Patrick's that didn't pass in the 2017 legislative session. Collier said he'd also prioritize making health care more affordable for Texans, but would not support a "bathroom bill" to regulate which bathrooms transgender Texans can use nor a school voucher program that would use state money to subsidize private school tuition.
Disclosure: Allen Blakemore has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.