GOP candidates squared up to each other in the race to succeed State Sen. Pat Fallon (R–Prosper), in the senatorial seat. The contest pits two Republicans, State Rep. Drew Springer (R–Muenster), a career politician, against Shelley Luther, a newcomer supported by the grassroots.
Rep Springer has the support of the outgoing legislator, who opposed Luther’s possible election. Fallon took a jab at the grassroots-supported candidate claiming that Texas GOP cannot afford to have a legislator who would be at odds with Gov. Greg Abbott.
Luther was critical of Gov. Abbott’s decision to close down businesses. The Salon owner defied Abbott's business closure orders leading to her arrest and spending time in jail.
Fallon says that although he disagreed with Abbott on the reopening of the economy, remaining loyal to Abbott was important because "you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them."
Luther however, opposes blind loyalty. In a Facebook post, Luther said that she was accountable to the residents of Senate District 30 and not to Abbott.
“This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him," Luther said.
The grassroots-favorite candidate promised to work with Abbott only if he was fighting to protect the rights of Texans. She also vowed to oppose the governor whenever he dictated retrogressive policies that negatively affected local businesses.
Six candidates, including a Democrat, are vying for the seat left vacant by Fallon's resignation. Springer and Luther have both received endorsements from several politicians. Fallon and other career politicians threw their weight behind Springer.
However, the grassroots and staunch conservative activists endorsed Luther. They described her as a fearless leader, who's willing to take the risk and challenge the blind loyalty and complacency of long-time GOP politicians.
“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” Mike Openshaw, a conservative activist, posted on Facebook.
Openshaw also criticized “people who stay for too many terms,” and become compromised by “lobbyists and political insiders.” The conservative activist added that "being willing to be jailed for fighting overreaching government" was an admirable quality for a leader to possess.
Grassroots supporters opposed the naming of the "establishment" politicians as the torchbearers of the GOP party.
“This is exactly why the patriots are mad. We don’t support backroom deals of moving up the ladder.”
Other conservatives supporting Luther's bid include Collin County Judge Chris Hill and the Young Conservatives of Texas group.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram endorsed Springer while accusing Luther of being too “far right.”
Gov. Abbott called an emergency election to replace Fallon within 30 days after he resigned from the seat. Luther managed to cause a storm with the brief moment that she announced her candidacy. Evidently, Luther's candidacy exposed the disconnect that exists in Texas between long-term career politicians and the people.
Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is pushing universal background checks in our state, and if left unchecked, it will not be long until we see bills like this getting traction in Austin. Texas is embarrassingly ranked 29th for gun rights, and with the help of the political elites in Austin, we will surely rank among New York, California, and Illinois if left to their own devices. Please join our fight today, and help us restore Texas' place as the standard for the U.S.
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