David Sibley

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David McAdams Sibley, Sr.​

Texas State Senator for
District 22​ (Bosque, Coryell, Ellis, Falls, Hill, Hood, Johnson, McLennan, Tarrant, Navarro, and Somervell counties)
In office
1991 (in District 9, which became District 22 in 1994)​ – 2002​
Preceded by Chet Edwards​
Succeeded by Kip Averitt​

Mayor of Waco, Texas
In office
1987​ – 1988​
Preceded by LaNelle McNamara​
Succeeded by R.D. Pattillo​

Member, Waco City Council​
In office
1984​ – 1987​
Preceded by Gary Cook​
Succeeded by Jay Larsen​

Born November 23, 1948​
San Antonio, Texas​
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Pamela Patterson Sibley (married 1970)​
Children Rachel Sibley Reid​

David McAdams Sibley, Jr.
​ Jonathan Sibley
J. Dale Sibley
Marilyn McAdams Sibley

Residence Austin, Texas​
Alma mater Baylor University

Baylor College of Dentistry​ Baylor University Law School​

Profession Dentist-turned- Attorney and Lobbyist
Religion Southern Baptist

David McAdams Sibley, Sr. (born November 23, 1947),[1] is a lobbyist and attorney in Austin, Texas, who previously practiced dentistry in Waco, A Republican, he held the District 22 seat in 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 but lost a special election runoff to fellow Republican Brian Birdwell of Granbury in Hood County, whose conservative positions contrasted with Sibley's Moderate Republican tendencies.[2] 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 Sibley's native San Antonio, who later ran for lieutenant governor against conservative Dan Patrick 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 then had in the United States House of Representatives. Otherwise, it was noted that 97 percent of Sibley's contributions had gone to his fellow Republicans.[3]

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.[4] Bush's ranch in Crawford was 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 (1923-2006) and the former Marilyn Alice McAdams, a native of Walker County who was an author of eight books and a historian at Houston Baptist University in Houston. Sibley lost both parents six months apart in the same year. J. Dale and Marilyn later returned and retired to Huntsville, the seat of government for 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.[5]

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" in the 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, from which he graduated in 1989, was admitted to the bar, and then worked as a criminal prosecutor for the McLennan County, district attorney.[6]

Prior to his state Senate service, Sibloey 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.[7] As a senator, he was recognized three times by Texas Monthly magazine as among the "Top 10" legislators.[6]

In the state senate

Sibley was initially elected to the state Senate in a special election in 1991 from District 9, when incumbent Democrat 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 unseated 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.[8] 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 Moderate Republican and a former Democrat, 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]

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 supposedly to function more 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, Kip Averitt won renomination to the Senate despite his announced intention to withdraw from the contest after the filing deadline had passed. Birdwell then won the special election over Sibley and prevailed as well in a lawsuit challenging his residency. Birdwell's Democrat opponent withdrew from the contest.[8]​ Former state Representative Byron Cook, a Moderate Republican from Corsicana in 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."[6]​ ​

Personal life

​ Sibley and his wife, the former Pamela Patterson (born ca. 1948), married in 1970. She is the daughter of Jack Patterson, a former track coach at Baylor and the University of Texas and athletic director at Baylor from 1970 to 1980. The couple has a daughter, ​Rachel Sibley Reid of Waco, and two sons, David McAdams "Adam" Sibley Jr. (born 1977), and Jonathan Sibley (born 1980). "Adam" Sibley was s elected without opposition as the Criminal District Attorney of the three-county 220th judicial district that includes Bosque, Hamilton and Comanche counties, A former assistant DA, he resides in Clifton in Bosque County.

Jonathan Sibley is a criminal defense attorney in Waco.[6] In 2008, he ran unsuccessfully in the Republican primary for the District 56 seat in the Texas House of Representatives against the incumbent Charles "Doc" Anderson.[10] The younger Sibley first said that he would if nominated and elected support conservative Republican Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland in the 2009 race for presiding officer. Jonathan Sibley then declared his opposition to Craddick after Craddick directed large sums of money to Anderson, a staunch Craddick ally. Nevertheless in 2009, Craddick was unseated by Moderate Republican Joe Straus of San Antonio, who has since left the state House. Craddick, however, is still the senior member of the state House, with service dating to 1969.[11]


  1. David Sibley (McAdams). Findagrave.com. Retrieved on June 4, 2020.
  2. Texas Secretary of State, Special election returns, Senate District 22, June 22, 2010.
  3. "David Sibley: Dances with Democrats?," Empowertexans.com, accessed September 25, 2010; material no longer on-line.
  4. "Welcome, Face the Fire Ministries, Facethefire.org, accessed September 21, 201; material no longer accessible on-line.
  5. Obituary of Dr. Marilyn McAdams Sibley. Huntsville Item (January 19, 2006). Retrieved on June 3, 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "State Rep. Byron Cook Endorsed David Sibley for May 8 State Senate Special Election," Sibleyforsenate.com, accessed September 19, 2010; material no longer accessible on-line.
  7. "City of Waco, Texas: Mayor and Council since 1895," Waco-texas.com, accessed September 19, 2010; material no longer on-line.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Terrence Stutz, "David Sibley wants to come back to Senate," The Dallas Morning News, March 17, 2010.
  9. "David Sibley's unthinkable loss," The Dallas Morning News, June 23, 2010.
  10. Texas Secretary of State, Republican Primary Election Returns, March 4, 2008.
  11. "Jonathan Sibley Says Race Is Not About House Speaker Politics," The Austin American-Statesman, August 24, 2007.