The Amarillo Pioneer

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Senate Contenders Talk Issues in Midland

The three candidates running to represent the 31st District of Texas in the Texas Senate traded jabs on Wednesday night in front of a packed crowd at a forum in Midland.

At the forum held by the Midland County Republican Women at the Midland Country Club, Amarillo restaurant owner Victor Leal, former Midland mayor Mike Canon and Senator Kel Seliger traded jabs as the three seek to earn a spot in the Texas Senate. The luncheon forum was attended by a wide range of Midland Republicans.

According to the Midland Reporter Telegram, Leal, owner of Leal's in Amarillo, told the crowd that he disagreed with the placement of Senator Seliger's office in downtown Amarillo's Amarillo National Bank building and said he would like to make the office more accessible to average residents of the district.

"Seliger's office is at the top of Amarillo National Bank," Leal told the Midland Reporter Telegram. "A working class person that works at the radiator shop or is a single mom has to hop in an elevator and go up 15 floors to an opulent office for a state senator. To me, that’s an egregious offense when serving working class folks. If I win, I want a modest office with a refrigerator full of Shiner bock, queso from Leal’s and couches where you can come in and feel like I can talk to this guy.”

Mike Canon, a former Midland mayor, also took aim at Seliger during the forum. Canon said that about 70 percent of Seliger's campaign contributions since taking office have come from outside of Amarillo, Midland and Odessa, the three primary anchors of the district. Canon also mentioned that Seliger has taken contributions from several political action committees and has taken about 10 percent of his contributions from out of state.

Seliger responded to Canon's statements by saying that Canon would also take contributions from political action committees.

All three candidates will square off in the Republican primary held on March 6th. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held. The winner of the Republican nomination will meet a Libertarian candidate in November.

Photo by Texas Tribune (Bob Dammerich), Mike Canon Campaign and KFDA

Photo by Texas Tribune (Bob Dammerich), Mike Canon Campaign and KFDA

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