The Back MicThe Back Mic: Seliger Retracts Redistricting Claim, O’Rourke Backs Off Gun Confiscation, Local Official’s Brake Lines Cut

This week — a GOP senator changes his tune on redistricting, Beto O’Rourke shies away from his position on gun confiscation, and a local candidate says his brake lines were cut while campaigning.
February 11, 2022

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Seliger Backtracks from His Redistricting Claim

A Republican Senator testified in support of a suit against the GOP-backed redistricting plan alleging a Voting Rights Act violation. But this week, he said his statement was a lie.

“[I]t was obvious to me that the renewed effort to dismantle [Senate District (SD) 10] violated the Voting Rights Act and U.S. Constitution,” Sen. Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) said in a sworn deposition for the suit released last month.

But when asked in an interview with Texas Monthly, Seliger backtracked, saying, “[The suit] was prepared by Senator Powell, and I think it says [the redrawing of SD 10] is a clear violation of the Voting Rights Act.”

“I don’t really believe that, but I signed that thing for Senator Powell and certainly it was the only opportunity to forward my feelings about my district.”

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Seliger is not running for re-election and his district was changed to encompass Midland, where his then-primary challenger Kevin Sparks is from. At the time, Seliger accused Lt. Governor Dan Patrick of adjusting the district to push him out.

“I signed it because I didn’t like my district, and I thought there might be a problem with Senator Powell’s district, and that’s all it is,” he concluded.

Beto O’Rourke Backs Off Gun Confiscation Stance

Democratic candidate for governor, Beto O’Rourke, is now backing away from his infamous presidential debate comment: “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15s.” When he initially launched his campaign for governor, O’Rourke said he stood by that statement.

O’Rourke has now come full circle on the issue, staying away from such a hard progressive lunge during his 2018 race for U.S. Senate, and now reoccupying that since deserted position.

Where he once embraced gun confiscation, O’Rourke now says his eye is on the Firearm Carry Act of 2021 — colloquially dubbed “constitutional carry” by supporters and “permitless carry” by detractors.

“I want to make sure that we protect our fellow Texans far better than we’re doing right now,” O’Rourke told reporters at a campaign stop in Tyler, according to KLTV. “And that we listen to law enforcement, which Greg Abbott refused to do. He turned his back on them when he signed that permitless carry bill that endangers the lives of law enforcement in a state that’s seen more cops and sheriff’s deputies gunned down than in any other.”

He added, “I’m not interested in taking anything from anyone. What I want to make sure that we do is defend the Second Amendment.”

Governor Greg Abbott’s campaign has already been hitting O’Rourke on the trail over the 2019 avowal.

Brazoria County Campaign Goes Beyond Yard Sign Wars

Last week, a candidate for Brazoria County Commissioner found the brake lines in his truck were cut. After bringing the vehicle to a mechanic, he was informed that bolts were removed and the brake fluid line was “cleanly cut.”

“We had to let Dan know,” the mechanic, Ricky Cruz, told Fox 26. “Someone wanted to make it look like the bolt was loose, and the caliber being loose caused the line to break. But it’s not broke. It’s cut.”

Davis filed a report with the Manvel Police Department.

“It is clear that someone intentionally damaged my car, which could have led to serious injury or worse,” Davis said in a statement. “This is our family vehicle that I drive my wife and children around every day. I’m thankful the issue was discovered before anything terrible took place.”

He added his belief that it is related to his party affiliation or his primary challenge against incumbent Commissioner Ryan Cade — but Davis stopped short of accusing Cade of responsibility.

Cade’s campaign did not return a request for comment.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.