Texas state Sen. Kel Seliger wants to be re-elected so badly that he’s staying totally positive in his campaign.
That is how the Amarillo Republican is casting his campaign. You know what? I am all for his approach.
Now he’ll get to find out whether the strategy works or whether Texas Senate District 31 Republican primary voters are drawn instead to mud-slinging and innuendo.
Seliger’s recent TV ad push highlights how he has stayed positive. All he says about his foes is that they have gone intensely negative with “false” accusations about his voting record, which Seliger insists is a conservative one.
Indeed, Seliger — who has served in the Senate since 2004 — has followed what I would call a “traditional conservative” track in the Texas Senate. He doesn’t align with the TEA party wing of his party and some of the principal elected officials elected on TEA party platforms; I think of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick as one example.
He has drawn the wrath of Patrick’s major political benefactor, PAC boss Michael Quinn Sullivan, whose latest incarnation is something called Empower Texans, which has been savaging Seliger with baseless attacks.
Meanwhile, Seliger campaigns on his conservative record; he touts his record standing up for rural interests against urban power centers; he talks about his strong pro-life stance and his endorsement by gun-rights advocates.
Seliger also has earned standing among his state Senate colleagues and has chaired the Senate Higher Education Committee through two legislative sessions.
I, too, want him to be re-elected. I detest the campaign that has been launched against him.
My hope for Sen. Seliger is that his high-road track plays better with West Texas Republican primary voters than the low road his foes have taken against him.
The primary is just a few days off. We’ll know quite soon a lot about the character of the Texas GOP primary voter.