Hair salon owner-turned-activist Shelley Luther could soon be turning her sights to the political realm, hinting this week that she may be considering a run for the Texas Senate.
Luther made headlines earlier this year when she opened her Dallas salon despite government mandates from Gov. Greg Abbott and local officials prohibiting hair salons and other so-called “non-essential” businesses from being open.
A Dallas judge sentenced Luther to seven days in jail and $7,000 in fines for contempt of court for violating a temporary restraining order, resulting in a wave of grassroots support for Luther, urging Abbott to intervene and pardon her case.
Ultimately, the Texas Supreme Court intervened, ordering Luther’s release after two nights, and Abbott rewrote his executive order to remove jail-time provisions.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe fundraising account established in Luther’s name raised half a million dollars nearly overnight, with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick even chipping in $7,000 to cover her fines.
Since her release from jail, Luther has headlined reopening rallies and donated money to help business owners who have been similarly targeted, such as Brenda Mata and Ana Castro-Garcia, who were arrested by police in Laredo as part of a sting operation for offering to provide cosmetic services at home despite shelter-in-place restrictions.
Though her message originally focused almost exclusively on reopening the economy from coronavirus shutdowns, Luther has continued to wade into other policy areas as well. Over the last several weeks, she has posted messages on her social media pages in support of police, as well as a post admonishing the six Republican congressmen from Texas who voted to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol.
“One of these reps is in my district. It may be time I do something about it,” Luther said at the time, alluding to a potential run against U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess.
This week, however, Luther may be setting her sights on a different position: the Texas Senate.
Though the primary elections are in the rear-view mirror, current State Sen. Pat Fallon (R–Prosper) was chosen by party activists this past weekend to be the Republican nominee to succeed former U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe, leaving a vacancy open for Fallon’s seat in the Texas Capitol.
It’s a vacancy Luther says she may be interested in.
“With Sen. Pat Fallon’s victory in this weekend’s special election, dozens of you have called, texted, or emailed to ask me about running in the upcoming special election in Senate District 30,” Luther wrote in a post on her Facebook page.
“I’m not a politician, but as a conservative business owner, I am immensely concerned about the direction of our state. Please pray for my family as we consider our next steps.”
If Luther decides to run, it’s unlikely she will be the only contender on the ballot. Already, numerous potential candidates, including State Rep. Drew Springer (R–Muenster), are said to be considering a possible run.
Senate District 30 is a geographically large, encompassing all of Archer, Clay, Cooke, Erath, Grayson, Jack, Montague, Palo Pinto, Parker, Wichita, Wise, and Young counties, as well as portions of Collin and Denton counties.
Though Fallon has not yet officially resigned from the Texas Senate, a date for a special election will be called by Gov. Greg Abbott after he does.