Tory megadonator backs Shelley Luther for Texas Senate with $ 1 million loan

DALLAS, Texas (Texas Tribune) – Conservative megadonator Tim Dunn is backing Shelley Luther in his bid for the Texas Senate with a $ 1 million loan, a significant sum for such a race.

Luther, the owner of the Dallas salon who was jailed earlier this year for refusing to shut down her business due to coronavirus restrictions, is running in a six-way special election on September 29 to succeed Sen. Pat Fallon, R -Prosper, as he prepares to join Congress. The seat is solidly red.

Luther’s campaign confirmed the $ 1 million loan on Friday night, three days before the campaign funding deadline in the race. The loan was first reported by The Texan news site.

In a statement explaining his support for Luther, Dunn praised her for resisting what he described as too much of a bipartisan government push in the fight against the pandemic. He said he loaned him $ 1 million because “Austin Swamp tipped the playing field to nullify Shelley’s field advantage,” referring to the accelerated schedule Governor Greg Abbott ordered for occupy Fallon’s seat.

The Republican competition closest to Luther is State Representative Drew Springer of Münster. He responded to the news of the loan in citing several groups who supported him, including the Texas Farm Bureau and the National Rifle Association, and saying they “knew how much a [Empower Texans] bought and paid for the senator would be for Texas. Empower Texans is the far-right group Dunn has funded over the years.

Early voting for the special elections began on Monday and ends on September 25. The next campaign fundraising deadline covers fundraising until Saturday.

Copyright 2020 Texas Tribune. All rights reserved.

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