Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther, who made national headlines by reopening her shop during the pandemic in defiance of business closure orders by Gov. Greg Abbott, announced Saturday that she is running for Texas Senate District 30.

Luther’s announcement comes after Republican activists elected Pat Fallon to replace Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe as the GOP nominee for Texas’ congressional District 4. If Fallon wins, as is widely expected, he would be ineligible to be a state senator once sworn into Congress, creating an opening for the seat in Austin.

“Out of the 31 districts, for the Senate seat to open up where I live … you’d better bet I’m putting my hat in the ring,” Luther said Saturday at a rally in Denton County in support of law enforcement.

Luther’s decision to reopen her business, Salon à la Mode, earlier this year put her at the center of the debate over how to safely reopen the state as COVID-19 continued to spread. Shortly after she opened on April 28, state District Judge Eric Moyé issued a temporary restraining order against the business, ordering her to close.

Shelley Luther glances out of the front window at her business, Salon ‡ la Mode, in Far North Dallas on Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Luther opened her business on Wednesday morning despite a judgeÕs orders on Tuesday for the salon to close following LutherÕs refusal to comply with emergency orders that required non-essential businesses to cease operations. (Lynda M. Gonzalez/The Dallas Morning News)