Konni Burton, Tea Party Activist, Takes Back Wendy Davis' State Senate Seat
In Tarrant County, the state Senate seat once held by Wendy Davis has changed parties, with repercussions for the balance of power in the Texas Senate.
Republican Konni Burton took the lead in early voting and held on to it through the night, finishing with 53 percent and the win. She addressed a fired-up crowd at the Fort Worth stockyards.
"In Tarrant County, we replaced one of the most radical liberals in Texas with a conservative voice," Burton told supporters.
This was a multimillion dollar race, with money pouring in from groups outside Tarrant County, including the Democratic field operation Battleground Texas and conservative super PACs.
For Burton, this wasn't a night to offer olive branches.
"The people sent Battleground Texas and the Democrats packing," Burton said.
Burton, a tea party organizer, said she singled out the Tarrant County tea party with thanks for the win.
Many civic groups supported her opponent Libby Willis, a neighborhood activist who held her election night party at the Mamma Mia's Italian restaurant across town. Willis was happy with the campaign she ran.
"It truly is a swing district, and I think you have to see the inroads that have been made with a Democrat and the support that we've gotten,” Willis said.
With this win, Republicans are closer to a supermajority in the Texas senate, which could keep Democrats from bringing any legislation to the floor.
In her victory speech after winning Wendy Davis' old Senate seat in Fort Worth, Tea Party Republican Konni Burton focused on blasting Davis, rather than her actual opponent — who was Democrat Libby Willis. "We were all sick and tired of being represented by a liberal in Austin who didn’t reflect the conservative values of District 10," Burton told supporters. "Tonight, those those value have been restored. Tonight our neighbors have spoken." Echoing the words of Republicans statewide, Burton also jabbed the president and the national Democratic Party. "Nationally, the American people have rejected the president’s agenda for our nation. In Texas, the people have sent the Democrats packing," she said.