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Fueled By Tea Party, Konni Burton Wins Big In GOP Runoff For Pivotal State Senate Seat

Doualy Xaykaothao
Konni Burton, center, celebrated Tuesday night with supporters in Fort Worth. The Tea Party organizer won big in the GOP runoff for the State Senate District 10 seat.

Tea Party organizer Konni Burton of Colleyville didn't wait for her opponent Mark Shelton to concede Tuesday’s Senate District 10 runoff race. Hours before the election was called for Burton, she gave her victory speech to some 150 supporters at the Fort Worth Stockyards. 

"One thing that you all can rest assured with is the conservative principles that I run on in this race, I will legislate on down in the state capitol," she said. 

When the race was called, Burton raised her fists in the air as the crowd whistled and cheered. 

After Shelton later called to congratulate her, Burton told KERA that she's delighted because grassroots conservatives helped her to win the race for the Tarrant County state senate seat.

"People are concerned about the same things I am, and that's being fiscally responsible with the tax dollars, and less government because more government takes more of our liberties, and so we're all very concerned about that," she said.

Burton says she's not happy about the $17 trillion national debt, and a federal government that continues to want to overreach into state government. 

Troy Tuomey of Fort Worth said he voted for Burton because she's endorsed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, and because he's tired of established politicians who don't get anything done.   

"So nothing's really changed," Tuomey said. "Everyone says that they've kept taxes from getting higher, but nobody actually cuts them."

Burton faces Democrat Libby Willis in November. It’s a pivotal race – it’s Democrat Wendy Davis’ seat.

If Burton wins, it will move the Republican Party closer to a super-majority in the state senate, enabling them to block most Democratic bills. 

Doualy Xaykaothao is a newscaster and reporter for NPR, based in Culver City. She returned to NPR for this role in 2018, and is responsible for writing, producing, and delivering national newscasts. She also reports on breaking news stories for NPR.