Unofficial results from the Texas Secretary of State show Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) with a commanding victory over fellow Republican Shelley Luther in the runoff for State Senate District 30.
Luther is the Dallas salon owner who made national headlines earlier this year when she briefly went to jail for violating Gov. Greg Abbott’s closure of nonessential businesses.
Both candidates sought to curtail the Republican governor’s emergency powers in the upcoming Legislative session. Springer, however, had the financial backing of the Abbott campaign, receiving at least $265,000 from the governor in recent weeks. Several other GOP officials, as well as business groups, also donated to his campaign.
Luther received $1.7 million — which included a $1 million loan — in campaign contributions from billionaire Tim Dunn, CEO of the oil and gas firm CrownQuest. Dunn is chairman of the group Empower Texans, which has funded primary challenges in the past against Republicans it considers not sufficiently conservative.
At around 8:20 p.m. Saturday, Springer declared victory on his Facebook page.
“I will fight to ensure Texas remains the premier place in the nation to do business, so we can unleash the private sector to create jobs and move us out of this recession,” he wrote.
Springer will serve out the term of Sen. Pat Fallon, who won a seat in Congress.
State Senate District 30 covers all or part of 14 counties in North Texas, including parts of Denton and Collin Counties.
Turnout was low, as experts expected in the special election. Only about 9% of registered voters in the district cast a ballot.