Unofficial results toward the end of the night showed Springer ahead by double digits.
“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,” said Springer in a statement.
He added, “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.”
Luther conceded later in the evening, congratulating Springer on his victory.
“Nine months ago, I was just a small business owner with zero political experience. Then Governor Abbott and some Democrats in Dallas put me in jail for opening my salon. Those same politicians spent nearly three million dollars, most of which unfortunately got spent on lies about me in an effort to stop our movement. What they don’t know is that it only emboldens me more. I won’t back down, and I’m not going anywhere,” said Luther.
The race in North Texas pitted the four-term state representative against Luther, who rose to prominence earlier this year when she defied Governor Greg Abbott’s lockdown orders and reopened her salon.
SD 30 opened up when Fallon received the GOP nomination to replace John Ratcliffe — who was appointed by President Trump to be the Director of National Intelligence — on the November ballot for a congressional seat where the Republican was expected to win.
While Fallon initially said that he “would reserve judgment” about the candidates in the race to replace him, he endorsed Springer immediately after Abbott called a special election.
Abbott himself did not wade into the special election in September, where Luther and Springer both received 32 percent of the vote, but the governor endorsed Springer in December for the runoff election.
As of the most recent finance reports, Abbott’s campaign had poured $270,000 into the race.
Springer’s campaign did not include Abbott’s initial $162,000 in-kind contribution on their pre-runoff finance report, but submitted a corrected report two days later noting that an email from the Abbott campaign “was sent to an email address on 12/11 that is not the candidates and that is not checked hourly.”
Part of Abbott’s campaigning for Springer included an advertisement that Luther is not a “conservative Republican.”
Earlier this week, Luther’s attorney sent a letter to Abbott threatening a lawsuit for defamation.
During the campaign, Springer criticized Luther both for supporting the coronavirus lockdowns in the early stages of “15 days to slow the spread” and, in a mailing advertisement targeting Democratic voters, for defying the lockdowns.
While major support for Springer included Abbott and PACs such as the Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and the Texas Farm Bureau AGFUND, the primary benefactor of Luther was CrownQuest CEO Tim Dunn.
The conservative mega-donor provided a $1 million loan to Luther and then contributed an additional $700,000 before the runoff election.
Springer’s win in the senate race means that House District 68 will be without representation for the first part of the upcoming legislative session, until a special election can be held to fill the vacancy.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.