The newest member of the Texas Senate is Senator Kel Seliger, the former Mayor of Amarillo. Seliger replaces Senator Teel Bivins of Amarillo who resigned the seat in order to become U.S. Ambassador to Sweden.
At his Oath of Office Ceremony today, March 2, 2004, Seliger said "...education has to be our number one priority. To accomplish this, we must have great and well-paid teachers. But we must reform our school finance system to provide a taxing system that's conducive to growth in our state."
The wise use of our natural resources is also important to Seliger. He told the crowd gathered in the Texas Senate Chamber "While education is the cornerstone of our children's future, we must also protect our livelihoods, ensuring our children will have sufficient natural resources to prosper, specifically addressing our local groundwater."
Seliger was introduced by Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. "I think one of the best indicators of a leader with promise is to take a look at his footsteps over the years. And when you take a look at Kel's footsteps over the years, you see a proven leader. Mayor, City Commissioner of Amarillo, Kel helped transform Amarillo into a hub of economic activity."
The oath of office was administered by Governor Rick Perry who said "Today we're going to swear-in another strong leader into the Texas Senate, a person who will tirelessly work to continue to make Texas the pride of our great nation."
Seliger represents Senate District 31, which runs from the top of the Panhandle to Midland-Odessa and Crane and Glasscock counties. He served four terms as Mayor of Amarillo. Seliger and his wife Nancy have two sons, 15 year-old Jonathan and 13 year-old Matthew, both of whom attend public schools. His family owns and operates Lake Steel of Amarillo. He is a member of the N.R.A. and Texas Farm Bureau.