The Texas Senate already is low on reasonable voices.
It is going to lose another one at the end of next year when Republican Kevin Eltife of Tyler leaves that chamber.
Eltife has decided 23 years of public service — in his East Texas home town and then in the Senate — is enough for now. He told the Tyler Morning Telegraph he wants to spend more time enjoying the company of his family.
I respect his desire to take a breather, or perhaps step away forever. However, his absence in the 2017 Legislature will be felt in a body governed aggressively by the TEA party wing of the GOP, and that includes Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who presides over the 31-member body.
Republicans hold a commanding majority. One of the other more reasonable members happens to be Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, who was elected to the Senate the same year as Eltife.
Seliger often speaks kindly of his colleague, as he should.
Eltife resisted efforts to cut taxes in the 2015 Legislature without dedicating some public money to improving infrastructure and some other obligations to the public.
I’ve been concerned that the Legislature might be hijacked by the TEA party. Both chambers need reasonable men and women to keep the zealots from running amok.
The Senate is about to lose one of its voices of reason.
Will there be more? I’m hoping the answer is a resounding “no!”