A conservative, pro-life Tea Party activist just won Wendy Davis’ old Texas state Senate seat. Because of gerrymandering, it was basically the only competitive seat in the state Senate, and now it looks like it will be in Republican hands for the indefinite future.
Konni Burton, the Republican who won it, is as conservative as they come. Burton is from the district and had trouble finding someone to challenge Davis, so she decided to just run herself (before Davis decided to enter the gubernatorial contest instead of running for re-election). After Davis’ 2013 filibuster, Burton told me for a piece I wrote for the National Review that her fundraising picked up.
“I was doing well with fundraising previous to this, but this has certainly helped, this pro-abortion stand that Wendy has taken,” Burton said at the time. “It’s a stand for abortions after five months! It’s helped immensely.”
Burton’s résumé includes leadership roles with the Dallas Tea Party and NE Tarrant Tea Party, as well as an advisory role with the Texas Legislature’s Tea Party caucus. And, like most serious Texas conservatives, she loves Sen. Ted Cruz.
“She stuck to a consistent very conservative message and people believed her,” said Austin Republican consultant Tyler Norris, who consulted for her campaign. “Now Wendy Davis is out of a job.”
With Burton’s win, Texas Republicans have an embarrassment of riches.