Beckley came in second with 45 percent of the vote, with the majority of precincts reporting.
In a statement after his projected victory, Collier called Patrick “a former shock jock radio host and partisan zealot.”
“With exploding property taxes, chaos at the border, a rickety power grid, our public schools suffering, and our constitutional rights under assault, the fact is Texas cannot bear four more years of Dan Patrick,” Collier said.
Collier lost to Patrick in 2018 when the businessman received 46 percent of the vote, falling about 400,000 votes short of unseating the incumbent.
In the campaign finance report due last week, Beckley reported over $12,000 in contributions with $18,000 in expenditures and no campaign debt. She recorded over $5,000 in cash on hand.
Meanwhile, Collier’s campaign reported $488,000 in contributions but $451,000 in debt. His campaign also had $116,000 in cash on hand and recorded $507,000 in expenses.
Beckley found herself on the wrong side of the legislature when her colleagues redrew House District (HD) 65 to be more favorable to the GOP.
Republican Kronda Thimesch is the favorite to succeed Beckley next year after Thimesch won the Republican primary in HD 65, rated R-58% on The Texan’s Texas Partisan Index.
She announced her candidacy for Congress to unseat Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX-24), but the legislature also redrew Van Duyne’s district to favor her in November.
In response, Beckley dropped her congressional bid and ultimately announced her candidacy for lieutenant governor.
On primary day, Beckley received 30 percent of the vote, finishing second as Collier received 42 percent. A third candidate, Texas Democratic Party Vice-Chair Carla Brailey, did not advance to the runoff.
Beckley was one of the staunchest opponents of the Election Integrity Protection Act of 2021, which was designed by Republicans to deter voter fraud. Beckley and her colleagues contended it was intended to “suppress” voter turnout and discriminate against racial minorities.
The lawmaker joined a quorum bust and left Austin during the regular legislative session and two special sessions. Though many of her Democratic colleagues returned to Austin, Beckley was among those who remained away from the Capitol throughout the second special session.
Collier made a point to express his disdain for “the constant culture wars that have consumed our state government and pit Texan against Texan.”
Many of Beckley’s colleagues in the Texas House supported Collier.
Patrick has made it a habit to prioritize controversial agenda items popular with conservatives, such as advancing legislation to ban state contracts with professional sports teams that decline to play the national anthem at games.
The lieutenant governor even sparred with Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), criticizing him for supposedly not moving conservative priorities through the lower chamber fast enough.
Patrick seamlessly won the Republican nomination on primary day with 77 percent of the vote.
While no election outcome is inevitable and an upset is always possible, Collier faces a difficult general election against a conservative firebrand in a deeply red state with Democrat Joe Biden in the White House.
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."