Democrat Candace Valenzuela won the runoff for Congressional District 24. The former Carrollton-Farmers Branch School Board Member is now getting national attention.
“My story is unusual for somebody who is pursuing federal office but it's the quintessential American story, that of trying to put food on the table, keeping a roof over your head, of wanting to see your kids succeed,” said Democratic Candidate Candace Valenzuela.
She overcame homelessness and was the first member of her family to graduate from college. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has officially put her in the red to blue program, meaning she will get organizational and fundraising support.
The latest news from around North Texas.
“Candace Valenzuela is an inspiration to those who have been told to think smaller,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Cheri Bustos. “Overcoming childhood homelessness, the first in her family to go to college and defeating an 18-year incumbent to be elected to her school board, Candace has always beat the odds. While Beth Van Duyne wants to strip health care away from Texans in a pandemic, Candace Valenzuela knows what it's like having to work multiple jobs to afford a health care bill. A rising star within our party, Candace’s campaign is on track to bring real representation to her community. She is running a strong, locally focused campaign and we are proud to stand with her as she works to flip this seat and become the first Afro-Latina elected to Congress.”
This race will be closely watched.
“This coalition has just grown and grown and that’s how we were able to get through the primary, that was how we were able to get past this run-off, but we need an even more substantial coalition in order to prevail here,” Valenzuela said.
Republican Candidate Beth Van Duyne was the first female Mayor of Irving and served on the city council. She then became part of the Trump administration working for the Housing and Urban Development. She oversaw operations in five states, including Texas.
“I think I bring a unique set of skills and experiences to congress that quite honestly, considering what we are going through in our country today, is much needed,” said Van Duyne.
Van Duyne points to working with law enforcement, and vulnerable communities, working in disaster situations, and development as part of her experience. She will get national support too from the National Republican Congressional Committee.
“Beth Van Duyne is an accomplished leader who has expanded job growth and protected the communities of North Texas and she will have the full backing of the NRCC in this election. We have no doubt that voters will reject Candace Valenzuela’s far-left, socialist agenda and elect Beth Van Duyne in November,” said NRCC Spokesman Bob Salera
Van Duyne says since she had no runoff, her team was able to pause fundraising, and help people in need during the pandemic, with food, and connecting them with job opportunities.
“I have always been a grassroots campaigner. I have always worked very hard to connect with everybody who is out there, and I think that makes an incredible difference,” Van Duyne added.