David Sibley (politician)

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David McAdams Sibley Sr.
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 22nd district
In office
1991 (in District 9) – 2002 (became District 22 in 1994)
Preceded by Chet Edwards
Succeeded by Kip Averitt
Mayor of Waco, Texas
In office
Preceded by LaNelle McNamara
Succeeded by R.D. Pattillo
Member, Waco City Council
In office
Preceded by Gary Cook
Succeeded by Jay Larsen
Personal details
Born 1949
San Antonio, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Pamela Patterson Sibley (married 1970)

Rachel Sibley Reid
David McAdams Sibley Jr.

Jonathan Sibley

J. Dale Sibley

Marilyn McAdams Sibley
Residence Waco, Texas
Alma mater

Baylor University
Baylor College of Dentistry

Baylor University Law School
Profession Dentist; Attorney; Lobbyist
Religion Southern Baptist

David McAdams Sibley Sr. (born 1947) is a lobbyist and attorney in Austin and Waco, Texas, who served from 1991 to 2002 as a Republican member of the Texas State Senate. Previously, he was from 1987 to 1988 the mayor of Waco, then an unelected and still a nonpartisan position, as are all elected municipal offices in Texas.

On June 22, 2010, Sibley unsuccessfully sought to return to the state Senate in District 22, but he lost a special election runoff to fellow Republican Brian Birdwell of Granbury in Hood County.[1] The seat became vacant when Republican Kip Averitt, a former aide to Sibley, resigned because of health issues.

Sibley's opponents disclosed in 2010 that as a lobbyist he had contributed to two liberal Democratic lawmakers, State Senator Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio and State Representative Jim Dunnam of Waco. Dunnam in the spring of 2003 led Democratic lawmakers on a sojourn to Ardmore, Oklahoma, in an ultimately failed bid to deny a legislative quorum as the lawmakers redistricted the thirty-two seats that Texas has in the United States House of Representatives. Otherwise, it was noted that 97 percent of Sibley's contributions had gone to his fellow Republicans.[2]

Sibley carried the backing in the 2010 election of former U.S. President George W. Bush, who had earlier befriended Birdwell, a burn victim of the terrorist attack on The Pentagon on September 11, 2001.[3] Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, is located within the senatorial district. Birdwell, who carried the support of the Tea Party movement, was unopposed for the seat in the November 2, 2010, general election.


Sibley was born to J. Dale Sibley and the former Marilyn McAdams (1921–2006), a native of Walker County who was an author of eight books and a historian at Houston Baptist University in Houston. The couple later returned and retired to Huntsville, the county seat of Walker County. David Sibley is the oldest of their three sons; his brothers, both dentists, are Dr. Stuart Dale Sibley and Dr. Mark McAdams Sibley.[4]

Sibley is a 1970 graduate of Baptist-affiliated Baylor University in Waco, where he was the captain of the basketball team and was named "Honorable mention" All-Southwest Conference. He graduated with honors from Baylor College of Dentistry in 1974 and finished a four-year residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Originally a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, he was sidelined by a ruptured disc and switched professions. He attended Baylor University Law School in Waco, graduating in 1989, was admitted to the bar, and then worked as a criminal prosecutor for the district attorney of McLennan County.[5]

Prior to his state Senate service, he was the mayor of Waco from 1987 to 1988, then an appointed position. He was the District III city council member from 1984 until he became mayor for a year.[6] As a senator, he was recognized three times by Texas Monthly magazine as among the "Top 10" legislators.[5]

Senatorial service[edit]

State Representative Byron Cook of Corsicana, the seat of Navarro County located within Senate District 22, endorsed Sibley's unsuccessful effort to return to the Senate in 2010. Cook described Sibley as having been "a workhorse" who spearheaded many of Governor Bush's "conservative reforms including tax cuts, economic development initiatives, tougher criminal penalties, and patient rights insurance reform."[5]

Sibley was initially elected to the state Senate in a special election in 1991 from District 9, when incumbent Chet Edwards was elected to the United States House of Representatives, where he served in a Waco-based district. On November 2, 2010, Edwards was defeated by Republican Bill Flores of College Station. In 1994, the McLennan County portion of District 9 was moved into District 22 because of extensive redistricting.

As a senator, Sibley chaired the Business and Commerce Committee for four sessions. He carried bills to deregulate the telephone and electric industries. Late in 2000, he lost the Senate vote for lieutenant governor by a single ballot, 16-15.[7] The vacancy was created when Rick Perry resigned to become governor upon the election of George W. Bush as president. Instead the position went to another Republican, Bill Ratliff of Mt. Pleasant in East Texas, who finished the remaining two years but did not seek a full term in 2002. Another Republican, Senator J. E. "Buster" Brown of Lake Jackson, had also sought the position before the final vote.[8][9]

Sibley, Ratliff and Teel Bivins of Amarillo had formed something of a Texas senate triumvirate, known as the College of Cardinals, during the 1990s to make the institution function smoothly. A Dallas blogger described Sibley's 2010 special election defeat as "unthinkable. He was one of the most talented, smart, and respected legislators.[9]

In the March 2, 2010 Republican primary, Averitt won renomination to the Senate despite his announced intention to withdraw from the contest after the deadline had passed. Birdwell won the special election in June and ran unopposed in November. Birdwell won a lawsuit challenging his residency and the Democrat opponent withdrew from the contest.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Sibley and his wife, the former Pamela Patterson (born ca. 1948) married in 1970. The Waco residents are active in their church and have a daughter, Rachel Sibley Reid of Waco; and two sons, David McAdams Sibley Jr., elected in 2016 as Criminal District Attorney of a three county judicial district that includes Bosque, Hamilton and Comanche Counties, and Jonathan Sibley, a criminal defense attorney in Waco. As of 2016 there were eight grandchildren.[5] Pamela Sibley is the daughter of Jack Patterson, a former track coach at Baylor and the University of Texas and athletic director at Baylor University from 1970 to 1980. David McAdams Sibley (Adam) (born 1977) ran unopposed for Criminal District Attorney of the 220th Judicial District. Adam served as assistant District Attorney since 2013 and lives in Clifton, Texas. He succeeded B.J. Shepherd. Jonathan Sibley (born 1980) ran unsuccessfully for the District 56 seat in the Texas House of Representatives in the 2008 Republican primary against the incumbent Charles "Doc" Anderson.[10] The younger Sibley first said that he would support Republican Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland in the 2009 race for presiding officer but later declared his opposition to Craddick's after Craddick directed large sums of money to the incumbent. Anderson was a staunch Craddick ally. Craddick was replaced by Joe Straus of San Antonio though Craddick remains the senior member of the state House, with service dating to 1969.[11]


  1. ^ "Special election returns, Senate District 22, June 22, 2010". sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  2. ^ "David Sibley: Dances with Democrats?". empowertexans.com. Retrieved September 25, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Welcome, Face the Fire Ministries". facethefire.org. Retrieved September 21, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Obituary of Dr. Marilyn McAdams Sibley". Huntsville Item, January 19, 2006. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d "State Rep. Byron Cook Endorsed David Sibley for May 8 State Senate Special Election". sibleyforsenate.com. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  6. ^ "City of Waco, Texas, Mayor and Council since 1895" (PDF). waco-texas.com. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Terrence Stutz, David Sibley wants to come back to Senate, March 17, 2010". Dallas Morning News, March 17, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Terrence Stutz, David Sibley wants to come back to Senate, March 17, 2010". Dallas Morning News, March 17, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b "David Sibley's unthinkable loss, June 23, 2010". dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com. Retrieved September 20, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Texas Republican primary election returns, March 4, 2008". sos.state.tx.us. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved September 25, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Jonathan Sibley Says Race Is Not About House Speaker Politics, August 24, 2007". statesman.com. Retrieved September 25, 2010. 
Preceded by
LaNelle McNamara
Mayor of Waco, Texas

David McAdams Sibley Sr.

Succeeded by
R.D. Pattillo
Preceded by
Gary Cook
Member of the Waco City Council (District 3)

David McAdams Sibley Sr.

Succeeded by
Jay Larsen
Texas Senate
Preceded by
Chet Edwards (in District 9)
Texas State Senator
from District 22 (Waco)

Succeeded by
Kip Averitt