We recommend Janet Dudding in the second round for the Democratic primary for controller

When we recommended Democrats vote for Janet Dudding in the March 1 primary for state comptroller, we highlighted her background as an accountant. After all, two of the main functions of the Texas Comptroller, as it is officially called, are to collect sales taxes and forecast revenues before each session of the Legislative Assembly.

A longtime certified public account in Bryan, Dudding, 63, struck us as having the best understanding of the role’s responsibilities and as the best choice to run in the November general election against incumbent Republican Glenn Hegar, who won his primary with more than 87% of the votes.

“I have spent my adult life auditing, reporting, administering, and even investigating state and local governments and their grants, taxes, purchases, expenditures, and reports,” she told us during a pre-primary screening. “I understand how the system works and how we could better use it to our advantage.”

We found that compelling, as did many voters. She won 46.3% of the vote in a three-way race – impressive, but not enough to avoid a runoff. The second, Angel Luis Vega, obtained 34.5% of the votes.

Vega, 39, a bilingual business strategist and author from Fort Bend County, pledges on his website to be accessible while in office and to host events to communicate the state of the economy and other issues. He says the office should offer a bully pulpit in support of marijuana legalization, a higher minimum wage and tougher climate measures.

But it was Dudding who impressed us as being able to take the fight more directly against Hegar in the fall. She said she would also speak out on policies affecting the Texas economy, including what she sees as a need for Texas to expand Medicaid. But she stressed that the bureau’s main goal is to be careful with Texas savings and efficient in collecting its tax revenue.

She’s also better funded — albeit mostly through loans — than Vega seemed to be, judging by each campaign’s reports filed Feb. 22. (Vega’s campaign brought in less than $1,000 in cash, compared to more than $50,000 for Dudding.)

The Democratic nominee will need resources to compete with Hegar, who is seeking a third term. We recommended Dudding for the runoff.

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