Lt. Gov. Patrick removes Seliger from Senate Ag Committee
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has removed State Senator Kel Seliger from the Senate Ag Committee, following comments Seliger made Monday on a radio program.
Days after Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick announced Amarillo State Senator Kel Seliger would no longer chair or be a member of the senate higher education committee, nor would he serve on the finance committee, Patrick announced another change.
Lt. Governor Patrick announced Tuesday afternoon the removal of Sen. Seliger from the Senate Ag Committee, in this statement:
"Senator Seliger has been removed as Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee and will not be serving on that Committee. I met with Sen. Seliger earlier today and gave him an opportunity to apologize for a lewd comment he made on radio about a female staffer that has shocked everyone. He had 48 hours to apologize, but failed to do so. He has refused to take responsibility and outrageously, blamed the staffer and said she should be fired. To not be willing to apologize and suggest, somehow, that she had it coming is unimaginable.
"I will appoint a new Agriculture Committee chairman shortly."
For some background, The Texas Tribune reports Patrick was quiet on Seliger's re-election bid. But Patrick's top political consultant, Houston-based Allen Blakemore, ran Victor Leal's campaign to unseat Seliger in the primary.
The Tribune notes Seliger was the only Republican senator who didn’t endorse Patrick’s re-election campaign, saying he was focused on his own race.
Seliger responded to the quote on Jay Leeson's The Other Side of Texas , "I have a recommendation for Miss Sylvester and her lips and my back end."
Seliger told Leeson he believes his earlier committee changes were driven by conservative political group Empower Texans. "Unquestionably, their requests come before mine," to Patrick, on this session's assignments.
Senator Seliger released the following statement regarding the Senate Agriculture Committee:
"Today, I was disappointed to learn that I am no longer the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
When, in her comment to the press, Sherry Sylvester threatened to remove me as Chairman of the Agriculture Committee, she was acting as a spokesperson for the Lt. Governor. In hindsight, I should have directed my response to the Lt. Governor and not to his messenger. And for that I apologize.
But let’s be clear. The conflict between the Lt. Governor and me has nothing to do with recent statements I made on a radio talk show. It has to do with the fact that I have consistently stood up for rural Texas, local control, and public education rather than trumpeting the Lt. Governor’s pet projects of bathroom regulation and private school vouchers.
I look forward to spending the rest of this session doing what I have always done—representing the people of West Texas and the Panhandle."
District 31 includes the Panhandle, western South Plains and parts of the Permian Basin, including Tulia, Dimmitt, Muleshoe, Morton, Plains, Seminole and Andrews.