Shelton wins — but what?

Three years after Republican state Senate challenger Mark Shelton accused then-Sen. Wendy Davis of ethics violations, Davis has paid a $5,000 settlement in the case.

Davis denied wrongdoing. But the Texas Ethics Commission ruled that the Fort Worth lawyer failed to disclose a financial connection to lobbyists through two law firms.

Davis reported her income, but not the link to lobbyists, the commission found.

Shelton’s complaint, filed at the height of the 2012 campaign, also claimed specific conflicts involving clients, but the commission focused on the reporting violation.

At the time, Shelton accused Davis of “hiding her business relationships with lobbyists.”

After Davis won the 2012 election, the two candidates’ careers took different trajectories but met similar results.

Davis ran for governor in 2014 but lost by 20 points to Republican Greg Abbott.

Shelton, a former House leader on healthcare and education, ran for the Senate again but never regained confidence, and lost the nomination by 20 points to Tea Party firebrand Konni Burton.

It’s regrettable that the commission didn’t rule sooner.