Former Midland Mayor Mike Canon will challenge state Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, in next year’s Republican primary, he said Saturday morning.
“I turned in my application and will announce it this afternoon in Midland,” he said.
Canon, an oil and gas attorney, was mayor of Midland from 2001 to 2008 and served on the city council before that. He’s a former president of the Midland Chamber of Commerce and one of the co-founders of Downtown Midland.
The challenge could fan an old geographic rivalry in a Senate district anchored by Midland on the south and Amarillo on the North. Another candidate from the Permian Basin, Bob Barnes of Odessa, was one of several candidates vying for the open seat when Seliger — a former mayor of Amarillo — first won it in a special election in 2004.
Four years later, Seliger ran unopposed in the GOP primary in the overwhelmingly Republican district. He easily defeated a Republican challenger from Odessa in 2012, but drew a two-year term after redistricting and is up for re-election again in 2014.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story misidentified Bob Barnes as a former Midland mayor.