Texas State Senator Kel Seliger Declines to Run for Re-Election
For those that follow West Texas politics, one of more intriguing races for next year's Republican Primary was going to be the race for Texas Senate District 31. Specifically, who was going to challenge long-time Senator Kel Seliger (R- Amarillo)?
Well, as of Wednesday, that became a moot point.
Once the latest special session for the Texas Legislature ended, Senator Seliger announced that he has decided to retire from the Senate and not run for re-election in 2022. Seliger will serve out the remainder of his term until early January 2023.
Senator Seliger said in-part on social media, "It has been a great honor to represent the people, schools and businesses of #SD31 for the past 17 years in the Texas Legislature. After thoughtful consideration and with the reassurance of my family, I have decided not to seek reelection to the Texas Senate."
Before being elected to the Texas Senate almost 20 years ago, Seliger served as Amarillo's mayor from 1993-2001. He was first elected to the Texas Senate in 2004, and won re-election five times.
Texas Senate District 31 is one of the toughest districts to represent, and campaign in, due to its sheer size. The upcoming redistricting in advance of the 2022 Primary Election won't make it any easier.
The new-look SD 31 includes Amarillo and most of the Texas Panhandle, horseshoes along the Texas-New Mexico border to parts of the South Plains and most of the Permian Basin and then continues eastward to the Concho Valley. Three major West Texas cities are in SD 31: Amarillo, Midland and Odessa, along with 45 counties.
The adjacent Texas Senate District 28 isn't much better off, now including parts of the South Plains, Panhandle, Texoma, Big Country and Concho Valley. Lubbock, San Angelo, and Wichita Falls will anchor the new-look SD 28.