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Half-dozen candidates on the ballot for special election

Joshua Baethge,
The Anna-Melissa Tribune
Anna resident Jacob Minter is among six candidates running for the State Senate District 30 seat. Early voting begins Sept. 14 for the special election to be held Sept. 29.

Early voting begins Sept. 14 for one of the area’s most unusual and highly competitive races.

Six candidates are looking to replace District 30 State Sen. Pat Fallon, who will likely succeed Rep. John Ratcliffe in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Ratcliffe stepped down May 22 after the Senate approved his nomination to become Director of National Intelligence.

On Aug. 8, local Republican county and precinct chairs chose Fallon to replace Ratcliffe on the general election ballot.

Although Fallon will face Democratic challenger Russell Foster in the November contest, the district’s overwhelming Republican majority makes his election nearly a foregone conclusion.

Fallon submitted his resignation from the Statehouse to Gov. Greg Abbott on Aug. 22., with an official last day of Jan. 4. In response, Abbott called for an emergency special election to be held Sept. 29. This was done so that Fallon’s replacement could be in place when the State Legislature returns in January.

In response, six candidates (five Republicans and one Democrat) have announced their intention to run for the seat. The candidates are:

Jacob Minter, Democrat

As the field’s only democrat, Minder says that he is working to bring together the best from every side. He lives in Anna and serves as the recording secretary for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 20.

Drew Springer, Republican

Minutes after Fallon officially submitted his resignation, Springer announced that he would run for the vacated State Senate seat. He hails from Muenster and has served as the District 68 State Representative since 2013. He also claims to have Fallon’s endorsement.

Shelley Luther, Republican

Luther is a Dallas salon owner who made headlines this spring for refusing to follow Abbot’s order closing hair salons and other “non-essential” businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19. She was eventually sentenced to seven days in jail, but only served two before the state supreme court overturned her case. She earned more than a half-million dollars overnight from online donors looking to support her cause.

Craig Carter, Republican

Carter ran against Fallon in the 2018 primary and earned 15 percent of the vote in a three-way contest. He is an entrepreneur from Nocona whose businesses include Old Nocona Boot Store, Nocona Beer & Brewery and Church AV Installers. He bills himself as “a working man’s conservative.”

Chris Watts, Republican

Watts has served as the mayor of Denton for the past six years. He announced his resignation in August, but plans to stay on until a successor is named. Before becoming mayor, he served three terms on the city council. He is also a private real estate investor. When he announced his run, he touted his experience as a fiscal conservative, problem solver and negotiator for the benefit of all.

Andy Hopper, Republican

Hopper is a small farm owner and member of the Texas State Guard. He says he began contemplating a run for office in 2014 after attending a Convention of States hearing in 2014. Among the issues he advocates in his platform are protecting sacred Texas sites, eliminating daylight savings time and fighting the federal policy that disallows states from protecting their own borders.

Additional information for Collin County voters about the special election, including voting locations, is available at

Shelly Luther is among six candidates running for the State Senate District 30 seat.