87th LegislatureElections 2022IssuesShelley Luther Challenging Incumbent Rep. Reggie Smith in North Texas House District

A Democratic judge in Dallas sentenced Shelley Luther to jail in 2020 after she opened her small business during the pandemic.
February 24, 2022
Rep. Reggie Smith (R-Sherman) is facing a tough challenge on primary day from Shelley Luther, the Dallas-area business owner who spent a night in jail after keeping her salon open in violation of one of Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive orders designed to control the spread of COVID-19.

The day after a state district judge, Democrat Eric Moyé, ordered Luther to the county jail for seven days, the Texas Supreme Court commanded Dallas County authorities to release her. Abbott also altered his executive order to preclude incarceration as a sanction for violating the order.

At the time, Moyé called Luther’s actions “selfish” and scolded her for placing her “own belief in a concept of liberty” above “the rulings of duly-elected officials.” Luther contended that “all businesses are essential” and it was wrong for the government to prevent people, including her and her employees, from providing for their families.

Luther also ran for Texas Senate in a special election last year and lost to Sen. Drew Springer (R-Muenster). Springer replaced Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX-04), who resigned his state senate seat after being elected to Congress in 2020.

Smith is serving his second term as state representative. In an analysis by political scientist Mark P. Jones, Smith placed 29th in a ranking of Texas House members from most conservative to least conservative voting record during the 87th Legislature’s regular session.

The Texan Tumbler

This week, candidates filed their final campaign finance reports with the Texas Ethics Commission prior to primary day.

Neither Smith nor Luther reported any outstanding loans, and each received a substantial amount in campaign contributions. Smith recorded $298,090 in campaign donations while Luther recorded $102,595.

Smith’s campaign had $215,801 in cash on hand and reported $186,865 in expenditures, while Luther’s campaign had $42,518 in cash on hand and reported $107,442.47 in expenditures.

The district now includes Grayson, Fannin, Delta, and Franklin counties and has a rank of R-62% on The Texan’s Texas Partisan Index, indicating a strong likelihood of a Republican victory on Election Day in November.

Early voting ends Friday and primary day is on March 1.

A map of House District 62 can be found below.


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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."