Republican Glenn Hegar defeats Janet Dudding to keep his state comptroller job for third term
"Republican Glenn Hegar defeats Janet Dudding to keep his state comptroller job for third term" was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
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Republican Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, who championed broadband access and the oil and gas industry during his campaign, warded off Democratic challenger Janet Dudding to win a third term as the state’s chief financial officer on Tuesday, according to Decision Desk HQ.
This is likely Hegar’s final term in this office, as the 51-year-old has said he won’t run for a fourth term if reelected. His name has been floated in political circles as a potential future candidate for U.S. Senate or even lieutenant governor, but Hegar has so far declined to say what his future might hold after 2026, when the next round of statewide elections will happen.
Dudding, 63, an accountant and political newcomer from the Brazos Valley, criticized Hegar for his lack of accounting credentials and what she called his support of big-money business instead of average Texans.
The comptroller is the state’s chief tax collector, revenue estimator and check writer. Hegar’s most high-profile time, typically, is around the legislative session when he tells lawmakers how much money they’ll be able to spend in the next biennium.
The race is widely considered to be a low-information election, with little public knowledge about the powerful position. The comptroller oversees a state budget that reached $265 billion for the 2022-23 biennium and holds the reins on how much tax money state legislators are allowed to spend each year.
Hegar, who started his career in 2002 as a state representative from Katy, outraised and outspent Dudding throughout the campaign and dropped $238,765 in the last month before the election, compared to Dudding’s $45,138. Hegar still had $8.7 million in his war chest leading up to the election, while Dudding had about $18,600 on hand.
During the campaign, Hegar touted his work on lowering taxes and expanding broadband in Texas, reforming the tax code, reducing regulations on agriculture and pushing for government transparency.
He also rode some of the emotional volatility of an election season with emotionally divisive underpinnings, weighing in against transgender students’ participation in school athletics, slamming President Joe Biden on immigration policy, bashing student loan forgiveness and supporting efforts to keep “critical race theory” out of schools.
His campaign site also discusses his belief in religious liberty, his support as a legislator for gun rights and his record on anti-abortion legislation.
Before he assumed his current role, Hegar was perhaps best known for defending his abortion restriction bill nearly a decade ago when he was on the opposite side of Wendy Davis’ famous Senate filibuster.
Dudding, who lives in Bryan with her husband, touted her credentials as a certified public accountant with 35 years of state and local government experience, as well as politically liberal stances she said were smart financial policy.
Legalizing or decriminalizing marijuana would bring in an estimated $1 billion and save hundreds of millions, she said. Converting methane emissions on state land into energy could save billions in costs caused by climate-related disasters, she argued.
She pushed for Medicaid expansion, wanted to address rising taxes and corporate welfare and supported better pay for teachers.
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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2022/11/08/glenn-hegar-janet-dudding-texas-comptroller/.
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