Texas State Senator Kel Seliger announces his retirement

State Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) has announced that he will not seek re-election in Senate District (SD) 31 in 2022, leaving the seat open for a new member from West Texas or of the Panhandle.

“After careful consideration and with the assurance of my family, including my noisy new granddaughter, I have decided not to run for re-election to the Texas Senate,” he added. noted Seliger in a press release. “From my first campaign in 1989 until today, I have felt extremely proud to serve the Panhandle, the Southern Plains and the Permian Basin.

Seliger was first elected to the State Senate in 2004.

His announcement comes after an intra-party drama, as former President Donald Trump backed his opponent, Midland oil businessman Kevin Sparks.

With a new State Senate map that removes the Panhandle counties and adds a few near the Permian Basin, Seliger accused his GOP colleagues of drawing new lines in favor of Sparks, a former member of the Texas Public Policy Foundation Board of Trustees.

When announcing his retirement, Seliger boasted that he was “known for his unwavering support for local control, public education, higher education, sexual assault awareness and prevention and to the fight against trafficking in human beings “.

“The opportunity to serve as chairman of the Senate Committee on Higher Education and the Special Senate Committee on Redistribution, as well as a long-time member of the finance and education committees, has allowed me to make an impact in areas of great importance to me and the state as a whole, ”said Seliger.

“I’m no less devoted to the fundamentals of smaller government, local control and true fiscal conservatism than I was when I first ran for the Texas Senate.”

Seliger has often been a deciding vote among Senate Republicans, especially as the GOP majority has cleared up in recent election cycles.

Most recently, he broke with his caucus over key votes on the state Senate map and a 2020 election audit measure – specifically requested by Trump.

In 2018, the last SD 31 primary election, Seliger narrowly avoided a second round against two Republican opponents with just 50.4% of the vote. These two former opponents, like Trump, have approved Sparks for 2022.

In addition to Sparks, Stormy Bradley, owner of the Big Spring steel company, also launched a campaign for SD 31 long before Seliger’s announcement.

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