(CBSDFW.COM) - State Rep. Drew Springer has defeated Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther in a special runoff election Saturday for Texas Senate District 30.
The Republican candidates were vying for the state Senate seat that stretches across 14 counties in North Texas. They both earned the most votes out of six candidates during a special election on Sept. 29 after Pat Fallon left the seat for Texas' 4th congressional district.
With 100% of polling locations reporting, Springer won with 32,599 votes, while Luther fell short with 25,146 votes. Updated numbers can be found here.
Springer has served as a member of the Texas House from the 68th district, which covers a rural area of North Texas, since 2013.
Luther made headlines earlier this year after she defied stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 pandemic and reopened Dallas salon. She was eventually jailed after a judge found her in contempt of court after she refused to apologize for her actions, which included publicly tearing up a cease-and-desist letter from Dallas County.
Springer released a statement during the evening on his victory.
"Honored that the citizens of Senate District 30 have entrusted me with this position.
As your next senator, I will continue advancing the conservative priorities of our district like reducing property taxes, securing the border, and standing up for our law enforcement and first responders who keep our communities safe. I look forward to fighting for our students and teachers to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed whether the path is college or vocational / technical training. 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.
Thank you to everyone who spent time knocking doors, making phone calls, and reaching out to their friends, family, and neighbors to encourage them to vote. Most importantly thank you to my wonderful wife, Lydia, for being so supportive during this campaign."
Gov. Greg Abbott also took to Twitter to congratulate Springer "Congratulations to @DrewSpringer on the overwhelming victory tonight for Texas Senate District 30. We look forward to working with you to secure our border, support police, protect unborn, cut taxes, safeguard 2nd Amendment rights, fund schools & open up businesses in Texas," he said.
Both candidates told CBS 11 News earlier this month that changes need to be made to the governor's authority during a disaster, including the pandemic.
Springer said Abbott should have called a special session of the legislature to deal with the pandemic -- and that he believes the governor should have similar powers as top county officials during a disaster.
"The County Judge has seven days before he has to involve the rest of the Commissioner's court. We would have a panel of four other folks that would join the Governor, Speaker, Lieutenant Governor, the two chairs to State Affairs (legislative committees), they would have another seven days and another seven days. And at that time, the legislature would be automatically called in for special session," Springer said.
Although Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick did not offer an endorsement in this race, both Springer and Luther supported Patrick's plan to ask state senators in the upcoming legislative session in January to lower the number of votes needed to bring a bill to the Senate floor from 19 to 18, the Republican majority in the new session. This would keep Democrats from blocking bills from getting to the floor.
Springer also said his other top legislative priorities are providing everyone with broadband in rural areas and lowering property taxes. He said he would favor rebalancing how the state relies on property taxes compared to sales or consumption taxes.
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