ROUND ROCK (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.

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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.

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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.

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