In another blow to the re-election campaign of Republican Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, more members of his own party are coming out against him and announcing they’re voting for the Democrat in the race for the powerful position overseeing the state Senate.
Mike Collier, a former Republican himself, is welcoming all endorsements to help bolster his Democratic campaign to the chagrin of the lieutenant governor.
The support comes just days after the popular Republican judge of Tarrant County, Glen Whitley, made a full-throated endorsement of Collier.
“Dan Patrick is simply an extremist,” said state Senator Kel Seliger, who was once removed from committee assignments by Patrick.
Seliger, an Amarillo Republican and self-described "proven conservative," says he will vote for change in November.
“I think that Mike Collier is going to represent all Texans,” Seliger said. “He is going to have to do it because he will be presiding over a house that is going to be majority Republican.”
Patrick’s campaign is pushing back by releasing a statement attacking Judge Whitley and Sen. Seliger:
“The post-Labor Day dinosaur parade has begun. Knowing voters reject their big government spending schemes, Whitley and Seliger are desperately searching for relevance in an age when voters hold political leaders accountable to stand up for Texas principles," Patrick's campaign said in the statement.
In response, Seliger said, “I don’t need to struggle for relevance or things like that. I’ve done it for a long, long time, but what I will struggle for is good government.”
The Amarillo state senator says Patrick’s positions on private school vouchers and funding of rural areas, attempts to usurp local control and lack of leadership are some reasons he’s not supporting the incumbent's re-election.
“He doesn’t even follow the rules of the Senate and threatens the people of the Senate who don’t agree with him or in his party," Seliger said. “Vindictiveness, which is one of his most profound characteristics, is not an element of leadership. It’s an element of dictatorship.”
Mike Collier has welcomed all the endorsements of his campaign.
"I could not be more proud to be endorsed by Sen. Kel Seliger, who has represented and fought for the people of the Panhandle for more than a decade. We are building a coalition across the state and across the aisle, and as Lt. Governor, I will work with Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike to fund our schools, rein in our property taxes, protect our rights and fix the damn grid," Collier said.