State Sen. Konni Burton announced Tuesday that she plans to run for another term, with two Democratic challengers saying they will be in the race as well.
The Colleyville Republican was first elected in 2014 after winning a multimillion-dollar race to represent District 10 — long described as a key political battleground because it’s neither solidly Republican nor Democratic — in what was one of the most-watched races in the state.
She defeated Democrat Libby Willis for a seat that previously had been held by then Fort Worth Democrat Wendy Davis.
“I am extremely proud of the work our team has done on behalf of the people of Senate District 10 and am excited to ask for their support again,” Burton, who has Tea Party ties, said in a written statement. “I ran on a platform of limited government, personal liberty, and the free market system, and my record over the last two sessions reflects a deep commitment to these principles.”
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The district includes Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and Colleyville.
In 2014, supporters dropped millions of dollars into the race, with some of the largest donations for Burton coming from the Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC and some of Willis’ largest donations coming from the Mostyn Law Firm in Austin or the Mostyn-funded Back to Basics PAC.
At least two Democrats already have announced their intention to seek Burton’s seat.
Allison Campolo, a research scientist and teaching assistant at Oklahoma State University who lives in Euless, announced her campaign on Facebook, saying “this is going to be a long and hard and expensive fight but every sacrifice will be worth it if we can put another progressive in the State Legislature to fight for Texans.”
Beverly Powell, a Fort Worth woman who serves on the Burleson school board and is Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter’s mother, also intends to run. Powell criticized Burton’s ardent partisanship that she said sometimes runs counter to the needs of her district.
“It’s time for new leadership that cares more about families here in Tarrant County than about narrow ideology or endless division and I will work to provide it.”
Fort Worth attorney Jeff Whitfield is considering a bid for the office as well.
The first day to file to be on the 2018 ballot is Nov. 11.