most recent video.
The advertisement entitled "Freedom," which was posted to Hegar's YouTube channel last week, opens with the Texas Senate Finance Committee member touting his NRA credentials and closes with a burst of automatic gunfire. While the ad ties Hegar's marksmanship to his support for the owner of a gun business, Houston businessman and Democratic candidate Mike Collier says it misses the mark when it comes to the actual job of stewarding the state's finances.
"Guns have nothing to do with the comptroller job," said Collier. "I like guns. I own a gun, but that's not the issue. The issue is that we need somebody who knows accounting. We need a watchdog. That job is to be a watchdog. That agency is to hold people accountable. Guns and abortion aren't relevant to the discussion."
The office of comptroller is primarily responsible for the budget forecast used to set spending levels in the Texas Legislature. Collier suggests ads like Hegar's are evidence Republicans running statewide in 2014 have little to offer in the way of practical public policy.
In order to make it to the November ballott, Hegar, like other Republican candidates, must first survive a crowded and contentious primary. With dozens of well-funded campaigns flooding the airwaves with advertisements this year, doing so requires standing out.
"The message over the top talks about small business, but I think the images really carry the day," said Texas Politics Project director and University of Texas Prof. James R. Henson.
When it comes to the current GOP contest, Henson says Republican contenders are hewing closely to what public opinion research has established as important issues to Republican primary voters.
"Immigration and border security are very important to them," said Henson. "Second Amendment rights are very important for them, and for a smaller but relatively intense group of voters in the Republican primary, abortion is important. I think we will continue to see that as the barrage of ads increases in the next couple of weeks."
Meanwhile, Democrats like Collier hoping to snap the party's two decade losing streak on the statewide ballot hope Republicans' focus on issues that appeal to core conservatives leaves more room to attract voters in the political center come the fall.
Hegar's campaign released the following statement to KVUE on Friday:
"Glenn Hegar is proud of the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, as well as numerous other business and grassroots organizations. Glenn Hegar's message is resonating across the state, and we will continue to aggressively travel the state and visit with Texans from all walks of life."
Endorsed by current Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, Hegar's Republican competition includes Texas House Ways and Means Chair state Rep. Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville). Hilderbran's most recent advertisement
touts a "10 point plan" to protect taxpayers and take on the Internal Revenue Service.
Voters will have their first chance to pull the trigger March 4.">