Democrat Beverly Powell, a real estate agent who has served on public school and college boards for years, knocked off Republican incumbent Konni Burton in a closely watched race across the state.
Powell, D-Fort Worth, won 51.7 percent of the vote while Burton, R-Colleyville, had 48.2 percent in with all 359 precincts reporting in unofficial returns.
Burton conceded the race, according to her campaign consultant Luke Macias.
Powell said her focus on public education helped her win the election.
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“Our district said loudly and clearly that they care about how we fund public education,” Powell said.
Powell also said Tarrant County voters did not want outside influence in the district. Burton has been supported by Empower Texans, a political action committee funded by Midland oilman Tim Dunn that has worked for years to move the Legislature to the right.
“I think we’re seeing a shift from hyper-partisanship that we’ve seen in our district,” Powell said. “We’re moving away from allowing our district to be controlled by West Texas billionaires.”
Both candidates were seeking election for a four-year term to a Senate district that includes Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and Colleyville and pays $7,200 annually.
Burton painted herself as the defender of conservative ideals while Powell said the incumbent didn’t represent the district.
Burton, a former vice president of the NE Tarrant Tea Party who once owned a wedding consulting business, was first elected in 2014.
She has said she was running for re-election to keep upholding the principles of limited government, personal liberty and free markets.
This story includes information from the Star-Telegram archives.