(CBSDFW.COM) – A Dallas business owner who was sent to jail earlier this year for reopening her hair salon before it was allowed is now in a runoff election for a state Senate seat in North Texas.
Shelley Luther, who made national headlines earlier this year, will face Republican state Rep. Drew Springer for the open Senate seat being vacated by Pat Fallon, who’s running for Congress.
Luther and Springer were the two who received the most votes out of the six candidates (five Republicans and one Democrat) who ran in Tuesday’s special election.
On Thursday, Springer said he gets things done. “I’m a proven conservative Republican, I’ve always voted in the Republican primaries, I’m in the top 10% of conservatives over the last four sessions in the Texas House.”
CBS 11 News requested an interview with Luther, but we didn’t hear back.
On her Facebook page on election night, she emphasized her grassroots support.
“We’re going to a runoff and it’s definitely because of you. I refuse to act like a politician,” Luther said.
Springer said he knows the 14 counties the district is in very well. “I grew up in this district, I was educated in this district, went to college in this district, and I work in this district.”
While campaigning, Luther has often criticized Gov. Greg Abbott for not reopening the state fast enough.
Springer said all five Republicans who ran in the race agreed. “We want to see it open right now. And so, you know, it’s definitely a discussion item. I think we all agree that it needs to be open.”
He also said he wants to cut property taxes, continue to fund education and improve transportation in the district.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he is not endorsing a candidate. “I don’t see a moderate Republican and a conservative Republican. I see two people are running on conservative issues. When there are two people who are espousing conservative values, let the people decide.”
Nearly 69,000 people voted in the special election.
Matt Mackowiak, a Republican consultant in Texas, said, “It was a very high turnout for a Texas Senate special election.”
He sized up the race this way. “I think if voters are going in just voting on reopening the state, they’re going to vote for Luther, if they’re voting for almost any other reason, I imagine, Springer would likely get those votes in the runoff. He has more of a record. He’s more substantive. He has a record of passing legislation.”
The runoff election hasn’t been set yet, but it will happen after the big election on Nov. 3.
As always, the challenge for each candidate will be to motivate more of their supporters to go vote than their opponent.