Texas Legislature

Don't Worry, GOP Folks, Neither State Senate Runoff Candidate Supports BLM

Salon owner Shelley Luther adjusts her hair while listening to a question after she was cited by Dallas officials for reopening her Salon A la Mode in Dallas on April 24, in violation of the governor's orders early in the pandemic.
Salon owner Shelley Luther adjusts her hair while listening to a question after she was cited by Dallas officials for reopening her Salon A la Mode in Dallas on April 24, in violation of the governor's orders early in the pandemic. AP Photo/LM Otero
The runoff race for state Senate District 30 has been a contentious one from the start, but as Dec. 19 approaches it’s descended into a referendum over who hates Black Lives Matter more. Candidate Shelley Luther wants Texans to know: It’s most definitely her.

In a political ad released Wednesday, the Dallas hair salon owner unequivocally condemns the BLM movement, which seeks to stop police brutality and hate crimes against Black people.

“Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization,” Luther says over menacing music and snippets of riot footage. “When their protests turned violent, I called them ‘domestic terrorists.’ They threatened to burn down my salon and harm my family.”

Or so she says.
Luther is a fan of colorful descriptors. She called the Texas governor a "king" and a "tyrant" after she was briefly jailed for defying shutdown orders that closed her business and countless others to slow the spread of COVID-19. Unsurprisingly, Gov. Greg Abbott has endorsed her opponent, Muenster state Rep. Drew Springer.

For his part, Springer bought the website domain www.ShelleyLuther.com and has wielded it as a virtual attack ad. On the website, he accuses Luther of siding with BLM protesters and “ANTIFA” based on a June 6 tweet wherein she wrote, in part, “We are fighting the same fight,” along with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. The tweet also calls for unity and justice for George Floyd, the Minneapolis man who was killed by police in May.

The horror.

Luther’s latest ad isn’t the first time she’s lashed out against her political rival. Earlier this month, she released a campaign flyer that depicts Springer and Abbott wearing masks together in a swamp. On the opposite side, she and President Donald Trump are pictured standing in an idyllic hay-filled field.

Although it’s too soon to tell, Luther’s anti-establishment formula could propel her to Austin. She came out ahead during the district’s September race, securing 164 more votes than Springer, and political science experts believe her name recognition could help to outweigh her inexperience.

Now, it’ll just boil down to which strain of Republican voters will be more motivated to turn out for yet another election. Upon entering the polling place, they’ll have to answer the difficult question: Which candidate thinks Black lives matter less?
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Simone Carter, a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter