Mike Collier, who is running for Lieutenant Governor, will participate in the Webb County Democratic Party meet and greet in Laredo on Monday.
The Webb County Democratic Party will host a candidate forum in Laredo on May 16, according to a tweet from the organization. The forum will feature four statewide Democratic candidates running for multiple positions, with some of the candidates still vying for a spot on the November ballot and facing a runoff election on May 24.
The candidates participating in the forum are Mike Collier, Jay Kelberg, Susan Hays and Janet Dudding, the tweet said. Hays has secured her spot on the November ticket for Agriculture Commissioner, while Collier, Kleberg and Dudding are all running in the primary runoff election to gain the Democratic nomination for their respective races.
?“? Meet your statewide Texas Democratic Candidates at Danny’s Restaurant in Laredo! Danny’s Restaurant, 4320 McPherson Ave, Monday, May 16th, 7:30 PM – 9:00PM! @jay4txland @hays4ag@Janet4Texas @CollierForTexas pic.twitter.com/E7SshqiZUL
The meet and greet on Monday will be held at Danny’s Restaurant located at 4320 McPherson Ave. Monday is also the first day of early voting for the primary runoff with the last day to vote early on May 20.
Here is more information on each of the candidates participating in the forum.
Collier is running for Lieutenant Governor to unseat incumbent Republican Dan Patrick, who is seeking a third term. Patrick won his party’s nomination in the March 1 primary, but Collier will first have to face State Rep. Michelle Beckley on May 24 before focusing on November.
Collier, a Houston-area accountant, gained 41.7% of the Democratic vote in March while Beckley received 30.1%, according to election results. Collier previously ran against Patrick in 2018, coming within five percentage points of unseating the Republican.
Kleberg is running for Agriculture Commission, the position previously held by Republican George P. Bush, who is currently running against incumbent Republican Ken Paxton in the Attorney General race. Kleberg will also face a primary runoff after failing to gain 50% of the Democratic vote on March 1.
Kleberg will face Sandragrace Martinez, who gained 31.8% of the vote compared to his 26% on March 1, election results show. Kleberg was the associate director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation from September 2013 to October 2019 and is co-founder and managing director of Explore Ranches.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke endorsed Kleberg for the role. The Democratic winner of the runoff will face off against the eventual Republican nominee. The Republican primary also went to a runoff, where Dawn Buckingham will face Tim Westley.
Beyond excited to announce the endorsement of my friend and our next Governor, @BetoORourke!
Together, we will fight to protect the Texas we know and love for generations to come. Let’s do this! pic.twitter.com/rytAcJHI6a
Hays is the only candidate in the forum who already has their eyes set on November after winning 82.8% of the vote in the Democratic primary for Agriculture Commissioner. Hays, an attorney and a lobbyist, will face incumbent Republican Sid Miller, who is running for a third term.
While Miller won a lower percentage of his party’s vote in the March primary (58.5%), the election results show he won more votes overall: 992,330 to Hays’ 814,283. Miller has been at the forefront of multiple ethics controversies, including two investigations by the Texas Rangers and using tax-payer funds to take out-of-state excursions.
A certified public accountant, Dudding will face a runoff election on May 24 against Angel Luis Vega for the Democratic nomination for Comptroller. In March, Dudding received 46.3% of the Democratic vote, while Vega won 34.5%, according to the election results. The winner will face incumbent Republican Glenn Hegar, who is seeking a third term.