Two new candidates have emerged in the race to replace retiring State Sen. Kel Seliger (R–Amarillo) in West Texas’ Senate District 31.

On Tuesday, retired FBI agent and former Canyon ISD Trustee Tim Reid announced his candidacy for Seliger’s seat. Reid’s campaign highlighted his background in federal law enforcement as one of his top qualifications to serve as a state senator.

“As an FBI agent, state trooper, police officer, school board member, and foster child, I believe that I am uniquely qualified to represent the citizens of this district,” said Reid. “I will actively work on the issues that we face to strengthen the future of Texas. I have served the people of this district for 28 years and call the Panhandle and all of West Texas home.”

Reid’s campaign says the candidate plans on highlighting issues such as education and healthcare in his campaign. Reid’s campaign specifically highlighted the issue of education in his campaign announcement, with the candidate saying, “Education is the number one job of a state. We have 5.4 million children in Texas public schools who deserve equal opportunity in programs that prepare them for a career or college.”

According to the Reid campaign, the candidate currently works as director of Athletics and Campus Safety and a teacher at Ascension Academy, a private school in Amarillo.

Last week, Amarillo attorney Jesse Quackenbush officially announced his campaign for Seliger’s seat after several weeks of teasing a possible bid for office. Quackenbush is making his second run for the state Senate; he first ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2004. This year, Quackenbush is focusing his campaign on issues such as wind energy and opposing critical race theory. Quackenbush also recently caught the attention of local voters when he told the Odessa American that though he is pro-life, he is against the recently passed Texas Heartbeat Act.

“I’m pro-life, but until Roe v. Wade is repealed, I’m against gratuitously going out there and wasting millions of dollars just to test the waters with a law that is obviously unconstitutional while senselessly adding a severe crisis for women who seek that type of healthcare,” Quackenbush said.

The two new candidates join Midland businessman Kevin Sparks and Coahoma ISD Trustee Stormy Bradley in the Republican race for Texas Senate in District 31, which includes the population hubs of Amarillo, Midland, and Odessa. Sparks has established himself as the arguable front-runner of the race, having already received endorsements from former President Donald Trump and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

Candidates have until Monday, December 13, to file to run for the seat. The primary Election Day is currently scheduled for March 1, 2022.

Thomas Warren

Thomas Warren, III is the editor-in-chief of the Amarillo Pioneer newspaper in Amarillo, Texas.


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