WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Voters will soon take to the polls to elect a new Texas State Senator for District 30.
The Texas GOP nominated current District 30 State Sen. Pat Fallon to be on the ballot for Congressional District 4, prompting a special election called by Gov. Greg Abbott.
There are six candidates running in the race and the first candidate profile focuses on republicans Shelley Luther and Andy Hopper.
When Dallas salon owner and Pilot Point resident Shelley Luther was jailed for reopening her business despite shutdown orders, she found her voice. A voice she now wants to use in the Texas Legislature.
“I don’t know what catapulted me into this except for the seat opening up, but I feel like I’ve already been doing the job and being politically active since the salon thing happened,” Luther said.
One of her competitors in the race is Hopper, a Wise County software engineer and Warrant Officer in the Texas State Guard.
“I believe that the best people to decide what is right for Texas are Texans and not unelected federal bureaucrats and unelected federal judges,” Hopper said.
The diverse district is home to many small farms and Hopper owns one himself.
“We have encountered nothing but regulatory hurdles in trying to get our food to any sort of a market,” Hopper said. “It’s very difficult, regulations are oftentimes geared for very larger operations, not small guys.”
Luther served as an educator for 13 years in Plano ISD.
“I think we should get rid of the state-mandated testing and really get into the future of teaching and not have the teacher’s hands tied,” Luther said. “Give them more value and give them more input.”
Both Hopper and Luther shared how they stand out among the candidates.
“I have by far, not even by 50% or 100%, probably by like 1,000% a more detailed platform than anyone else running,” Hopper said. “I wrote every word, that was the first thing I did is write down everything that I’ve always believed.”
“I feel like I fill in the gap between the people and the government, I’ve been on the frontlines, I know what people have gone through,” Luther said. “What’s crazy is, I’m not even a politician but I was the only one that was able to get Gov. Abbott to change his executive orders and I got it to happen twice.”
Early voting begins Monday, Sept. 14.
Wichita County voters can vote at the Wichita County Courthouse, Commissioner 2 building, Wichita County Tax Office Substation, Sikes Senter Mall, and the Commissioner 4 building.
Early voting wraps up Sept. 25, and the special election is on Sept. 29.