DENTON, Texas (KETK/AP) – Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was sent to jail sparked a conservative movement to roll back coronavirus restrictions in Texas, advanced to a runoff for an open Texas Senate seat Tuesday night.
Luther finished in a dead heat with four-term GOP state Rep. Drew Springer. They both received roughly 31% of the vote.
The district reaches from Stephenville and the northern suburbs of Dallas and Fort Worth to Wichita Falls and the Red River.
Luther made herself a statewide name by defying Gov. Greg Abbott’s coronavirus orders that prevented her from running her salon. She spent two days in jail until the Texas Supreme Court ruled for her to be released.
That same week, Abbott amended his executive order that removed jail time as a viable punishment for defying the order. Luther received more than half-a-million dollars in donations with the help of multiple conservative activists.
One of her earliest supporters was Rep. Matt Schaefer, the vice chairman of the Texas Freedom Caucus. Schaefer was been one of Abbott’s most vocal Republican critics, comparing him to a king this year and saying that his words “make sense coming from the governor of California, not Texas.”
On the first day her salon was permitted to be legally opened, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz stopped by to get a haircut. While Luther did not cut Cruz’s hair, she did speak with him about her reasoning about choosing to violate the order.
“What I’m celebrating is justice. It is, hold on let me answer your question. It is injust to sentence somebody to jail 7 days for cutting hair. Particularly when you’ve got local politicians releasing violent criminals, releasing child molesters from jail, and we’re going to lock up small business owners? That is crazy, that doesn’t make any sense at all.”Texas Sen. Ted Cruz