I am not usually one to declare how I intend to vote before I actually do it, given that we do cast our votes in secret.
This year presents some serious concern for me. It’s enough to make me declare my intention to do something I usually keep semi-secret.
My intention is to vote in the Republican Party primary. Not only that, I am going to vote early; as much as I detest early voting, my wife and I will be unable to vote on primary election day, as we’ll be out of town celebrating our granddaughter’s birthday. Hey, we have our priorities, you know?
I have a particular concern, and it involves Texas Senate District 31. I want Kel Seliger to win the GOP primary. He faces two challengers, Victor Leal of Amarillo and Mike Canon of Midland. Both of those individuals are trying to outflank Seliger on the right wing of the GOP electorate. They contend he’s one of those damn liberals. What they don’t say, of course, is that they are being backed by interests from far outside the Texas Panhandle.
Seliger is a mainstream conservative. His only “sin,” in the eyes of Leal and Canon, is that he is not a crazy right-wing extremist.
I’ll stipulate once again that I believe Seliger, a former Amarillo mayor, has done a fine job representing West Texas in the Legislature. He needs to stay on the job.
I wish I could throw my support behind state Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo, too. I cannot. I am registered to vote in Randall County; Price represents Potter County and other rural counties in his House district.
I have known Price and Seliger for as long as we have lived in Amarillo. I like and admire them both and I want them both to win their party’s primary.
Given as well that Price has garnered the attention of Texas Monthly, which considers him one of the state’s best legislators, I believe the Panhandle is well-served to keep Price on the job right along with Seliger.
Not only that, there’s considerable chatter around the state that Price might ascend to the speakership of the Texas House of Representatives. Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio is not running for re-election and Price — shall I say — is not discouraging talk of him succeeding Straus. I consider that a form of code that Price is quite interested in becoming speaker.
Think of the potential that could await the Panhandle if one of our own takes the House gavel and directs the flow of legislation in that chamber.
I won’t surrender my own progressive political leanings by voting in this year’s GOP primary. We do have a general election coming up this fall and my intention is to back candidates up and down the state ballot who adhere to my own world view.
When you live as we do in Ground Zero of Texas Republican Land, you have to cast your vote where it will do the most good for the region where you live.
That’s my intention. So there.