Elections

Tarrant lawmaker uses Dallas skyline in campaign flyer, sparking flare-up of DFW rivalry

A Texas Senate debate goes off the rails: Konni Burton, Beverly Powell on taxes

In a debate on WFAA/Channel 8, Texas state Sen. Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) surprises challenger Beverly Powell, a Fort Worth Democrat, over past tax bills from one of Powell's businesses.
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In a debate on WFAA/Channel 8, Texas state Sen. Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) surprises challenger Beverly Powell, a Fort Worth Democrat, over past tax bills from one of Powell's businesses.

The rivalry between Fort Worth and Dallas has reared its head again.

This time it’s through a new campaign flyer in the Texas Senate District 10 race.

The flyer, by incumbent state Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, shares the message “Keep the Texas Economy Strong.”

Behind those words is a photo of the downtown Dallas skyline.

That was enough to prompt former Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns to weigh in, tweeting that Burton’s “disdain for Fort Worth & those she represents is legendary.”

“She’s never seen in FW,” he continued. “Her Tarrant dist doesn’t even touch Dallas Co but guess which skyline she uses in mailings?”

The Senate District 10 includes Fort Worth, Arlington, Mansfield and Colleyville.

But not Dallas.

Burton faces Democratic challenger Beverly Powell in her re-election bid to this district that’s neither solidly Republican nor Democratic that has swung between the two parties for years.

When asked for a comment about the Dallas skyline being featured in her flyer, Burton responded in a text message: “The press wants to write about an image on a mailer instead of my opponent’s repeated history of failing to pay her taxes and her many lies about it during this campaign. What really matters to voters?”

Burton is referring to a past lawsuit against Powell for unpaid business property taxes.

Her campaign has shared paperwork showing a tax judgment and liens involving several businesses, including a Burleson antique store co-owned by Powell.

Burton tweeted Monday that Powell wrote on a Dallas Morning News candidate questionnaire that she “never had a judgment against me or a negative settlement.”

“This seems like kind of a big deal, doesn’t it? My opponent, Beverly Powell lying on the @dallasnews candidate questionnaire? The candidate they endorsed.”

Powell responded to the allegations earlier this month on a website, stating: “The bottom line, the business taxes Burton questioned have been paid.”

“There’s a reason Konni Burton deflects and distracts when asked about her priorities — because they reflect the direction given to her by the Empower Texans special interest PAC and the West Texas billionaires who fund her campaign, and not the priorities of the voters of SD10,” Powell posted.

Stories have long circulated about the Fort Worth-Dallas rivalry, particularly the tale of how legendary Star-Telegram publisher Amon Carter packed a sack lunch when he traveled to Dallas so he wouldn’t have to spend any money in that city to the east of Fort Worth.

Powell tweeted out a message: “Word of advice to @KonniBurton’s @EmpowerTexans funded campaign team: Dallas isn’t in #sd10.”

Anna Tinsley: 817-390-7610, @annatinsley
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