TEXAS, USA — A second Republican leader is backing the Democratic candidate for Texas lieutenant governor, as the race continues to heat up across party lines ahead of the November election.
Republican State Senator Kel Seliger announced Tuesday he was joining Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley in endorsing Democrat Mike Collier for Lt. governor against Republican incumbent Dan Patrick.
Seliger is the former mayor of Amarillo and currently represents one of the most Republican-leaning state senate districts in Texas (SD-31).
Following Seliger’s announcement, Collier issued the following statement:
"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.”
Seliger’s endorsement comes after Judge Whitley’s shocked the world of Texas politics this past weekend.
Whitley told WFAA’s Y’all-itics, that he blames Lt. Gov. Patrick for the state ignoring financial obligations, like state prisoner expenses.
"So, when they pass a law down there, or they force us to keep their prisoners, that's a state-mandated property tax increase. We used to call it unfunded mandates," Whitley told WFAA.
Collier too shared his happiness over Whitley’s endorsement and said the two have talked many times over the years about the reason why property taxes are exploding across the state.
Local Republicans in Tarrant County called Whitley’s endorsement disappointing and Democrats hope his endorsement pays off.
Patrick declined WFAA’s interview over the weekend, but shared the following tweet on how he felt about Whitley’s endorsement:
"It's no surprise Judge Whitley, who made Tarrant County property taxes among the highest in Texas, doesn't get it. People are being taxed out of their homes by big spending local governments. Collier and Whitley are two-of-a-kind, tax-hiking, big spenders."
Despite endorsing Collier, Whitley did say he is still convinced Texas will remain a red state.