Michelle Beckley joins Democratic primary for lieutenant governor

Michelle Beckley joins Democratic primary for lieutenant governor

Isabel Webb Carey
Isabel Webb Carey
November 17, 2021

Democrat Michelle Beckley, a state representative and one of the more liberal members of the Texas House, announced Tuesday her intention to run for lieutenant governor in 2022.

Beckley was among the more than 50 Democrats in the Texas House who decamped to Washington this summer to temporarily block a Republican election bill. In her campaign announcement, Beckley said she was running because Republican incumbent Dan Patrick is implementing policies that “hurt Texas business and make life harder for all Texans.”

“I’m running for Lieutenant Governor because politicians are putting ideology ahead of results that matter to Texans,” she said. “In the last legislative session alone, they worked to limit voters’ rights, put bounties on women, marginalize minorities, and make-up false boogeymen in our schools, and the health and wealth of Texans suffered. I’m running to stop them.”

She went on to outline her legislative priorities, in which she included expanding Medicaid, fixing shortcomings in the state’s power grid and fully funding public education. While these issues are in line with the priorities of the other candidates in the Democratic primary, Beckley has openly supported proposals that have never gained traction in the GOP-controlled Texas Capitol, such as cannabis legalization and gun control. Yet Beckley promises that she would bring “balance” to the position of lieutenant governor and described Patrick as “the extreme of the extremes” and puts the interests of his donors ahead of those of average Texans.

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“Our state has gone to the extreme and I am the values of the moderate,” she said. “In many other states I would not be considered liberal at all.”

Mike Collier, the Texas Democrats’ nominee for lieutenant governor in the last cycle, and Matthew Dowd, strategist to former Republican President George W. Bush, are also running in the Democratic primary. In her assessment of the relative strength of her fellow Democrats, Beckley emphasized her extent of legislative experience and successful track record. 

“Neither one of those candidates has won an election,” she said. “I won an election in a hard district and improved my margins.”

The winner will be an underdog against Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who is seeking a third term and has received the endorsement of former president Donald Trump.

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Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey

Isabel Webb Carey attends the University of Texas at Austin in the Plan II Honors Program with a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. Her interests include education, local governance, sustainability, and equity. Isabel enjoys dancing, hiking, and live music. She is also a staff writer for the Texas Orator. Email her at [email protected]
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