Every few years when it is time to elect a State Senator, the conversation inevitably is introduced to an argument by those who believe they are political pundits.
"Amarillo values are not Midland values," some will say.
"The goals of Midland are not the goals of Amarillo," others will say.
Here's the simple fact: Amarillo versus Midland is an election time distraction. Plain and simple. It's an easy scapegoat distraction that allows those like the incumbent Senator Kel Seliger to pin his re-election on a weak claim while avoiding real issues like property tax reform, ethics reform and other such things.
The argument regarding Amarillo versus Midland stems from the fact that our senatorial district, District 31, is a massive district that covers most of the Texas Panhandle and dips downstate to pick up Midland and Odessa. The district is specifically drawn to cut out Lubbock, so as not to increase a population threshold.
Every year, groups like Amarillo Matters exploit this shadow argument in attempt to sway voters. The political action committee has a way of telling Amarillo voters that if someone who does not live in the Amarillo city limits is elected for our district, Midland will prosper while Amarillo burns. The argument is silly and just goes to prove exactly how ridiculous these pundits-in-their-own-minds can be when it comes to an election.
For example, Mike Canon, a former mayor of Midland, is running in the March 6th Republican primary in an effort to unseat incumbent Senator Kel Seliger. If Canon wins, some of Seliger's supporters cry that Amarillo will suffer the consequences because he will only listen to Midland and he will ignore Amarillo. I sincerely doubt this to be the case. Canon has spent quite a bit of time in Amarillo and actually seems to care. Canon is running to be the senator of the entire district and I suspect that if he is elected, he will do just that. I doubt that doomsday is coming to Amarillo just because Canon would be elected.
However, similar attacks have been shot toward Victor Leal, an Amarillo restaurant owner who is running against Seliger. Seliger recently levied an attack toward Leal, stating that he is part of a conspiracy perpetrated by those in Midland to remove Seliger from office.
Seliger's argument is ridiculous and his paranoia shows through to those who are bystanders in this election. Although, perhaps the saddest part of this story is the fact that our senator, who is elected to represent the entire district, seems to truly believe that the Amarillo versus Midland war is a real thing. It's shameful, as Seliger is elected to represent the entire district, not just Amarillo.
Please remember when you vote on March 6th, the Amarillo versus Midland war is just a campaign distraction created by political groups to make you worry. In the end, vote for whoever best represents your beliefs and values instead of voting based upon where a candidate resides. If you do that, you will always choose the candidate who will represent you best.
-Thomas Warren III, Editor-In-Chief