A pastor running against Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson says "divine intervention" has helped him gain ground on the longtime incumbent.
The intervention came in the form of news reports about scholarships granted by the congresswoman to family and friends instead of qualified constituents.
Johnson apologized and repaid $31,000 to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
But the uproar cost her the endorsement of the Dallas Morning News after 18 years of service in Congress. The newspaper instead endorsed the Rev. Stephen Broden.
“I think there was a betrayal here of the trust that we here in the district had for our leader to represent our interests," Broden said. "There were many students who missed out on an opportunity."
But Broden, the senior pastor of Fair Park Bible Fellowship, still faces an uphill battle in the heavily Democratic 30th Congressional District.
Johnson supporters say she has a long record of accomplishments, but she is not talking publicly about it herself.
Johnson spokesman Eddie Reeves said he was “not able to schedule an interview at this time” with the congresswoman.
Broden said Johnson has failed the district, where unemployment and education are key issues.
“The 30th district lags behind, and that lag, I think, is demonstrative of a lack of vision and a lack of leadership that would prioritize the district above self interests,” he said.