HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The lieutenant governor's race took an interesting turn over the holiday weekend when two prominent Republicans endorsed the challenger-a Democrat.
That Democrat, Mike Collier, welcomes the endorsements.
"It does not come as a complete surprise," Collier told ABC13, "Because, over the years, we've got to know each other. We have an awful lot in common. For example, very passionate about education. The property tax system is completely broken. If you happen to be a homeowner and they know it. We have to fix the damn grid, and there's just a lot of problems we need to solve in the state, and so I'm not surprised but very honored that they're supporting me."
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and his campaign have dismissed them as essentially irrelevant.
Republican Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley said his endorsement of Collier is less about the party and more about the person who is best for the state of Texas.
"Patrick was elected in 2006 to the state senate," Whitley told ABC13, "and ever since then, every year, we have become more divided until when I think we're every bit as much as divided as Washington is."
Republican Amarillo State Senator Kel Seliger also endorsed Collier over Patrick, the two-term incumbent.
In a statement on Tuesday from the Lt. Governor's Chief Strategist, Allen Blakemore wrote, "The post-Labor Day Dinosaur parade has begun. Knowing voters reject their big government spending schemes, Whitley and Seliger are desperately searching for relevance in an age when voters hold political leaders accountable to stand up for Texas principles."
And in a tweet, the lieutenant governor wrote, "it's no surprise Judge Whitley, who made Tarrant County property taxes the highest in Texas, doesn't get it. People are being taxed out of their homes by big spending local governments. Collier & Whitley are two-of-a-kind, tax-hiking, big spenders."
Baker Institute political fellow Mark Jones says these endorsements are not insignificant.
"What we're seeing is, in some ways, is the revenge of the moderate Republicans," Jones said. "If only a small number of moderate Republicans who normally vote the GOP ticket switch over to Mike Collier in the lieutenant governor's race, that could spell trouble for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick."
Collier believes the issues will make the difference for Texans in November.
"They're waiting to see Dan Patrick explain why in the world property taxes have exploded across his eight years," Collier said. "Why in the world are we sitting here worrying about a grid? He's been lieutenant governor for a long time, and he can't get that problem solved."