Candidate Highlight: Texas’s 24th Congressional District

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"I'm frustrated with the representation we're seeing from politicians across the board."

-Candace Valenzuela

Meet Candace Valenzuela, the Democratic candidate for Texas’s 24th congressional district. Candace was first elected to public office in 2017, when she ran for the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District board. Her background in education inspired her to advocate for the expansion of skills and vocational training. Candace supports a plethora of policies including an increase in the minimum wage, the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, paid family and medical leave, universal pre-k, comprehensive immigration reform, and campaign finance reform. Candace has received notable endorsements, including those from Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker and Representatives Ayanna Pressley and the late John Lewis. She recently won her runoff primary with 60.4% of the vote, and is now one step closer to becoming the first Afro-Latina member of Congress. We reached out and asked Candace three questions, here are her responses*:

1. What made you decide to run?

I decided to run for Congress because I saw the opportunities that helped me overcome childhood poverty and homelessness to become the first in my family to graduate from college are under attack. I am tired of having representation in Washington that doesn't understand the obstacles that families like mine go through, and I stepped up and ran because I know our communities need new leadership who will fight for all of our kids' futures.

2. What are three qualities that make you better than Beth Van Duyne?

I am rooted in this community, my heart is in this community, and my lived experience strengthens my will to fight for this community. I know, intimately, the struggles working families are facing because I've faced them myself. That lived experience and perspective is something that we lack in Congress.

I have sworn off corporate PAC money and I'll always fight for the interests of the children and families here because of my lived experience. My opponent doesn't have those same interests at heart, instead, she's fighting for the special interests that have bankrolled her campaign with tens of thousands of dollars of corporate PAC contributions.

Our healthcare agenda is the key difference between me and my opponent. I know what it's like to have to work two and even three jobs to pay for healthcare. That lived experience strengthens my resolve to fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs and ensure every American has access to affordable healthcare. In contrast, Beth Van Duyne is striving to take healthcare away from millions of Americans amid a global pandemic and ax protections those of us with pre-existing conditions.

3. What is the first thing you would do in office?

Unfortunately, when I get to Congress we're still going to be dealing with the public health and economic repercussions of this global pandemic. My first priority will be to fight for relief for state and local governments, working families, and small businesses that have been hit hard and whose situation has been exacerbated by Republican mismanagement of the COVID response.

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“In order to secure the interior of the United States, we need to step up relationships with ICE and local law enforcement so more criminal aliens are being targeted, apprehended, and deported.”

-Beth Van Duyne

Meet Beth Van Duyne, the Republican candidate for Texas’s 24th congressional district. Beth served as the mayor of Irving, TX from 2011 to 2017, and was appointed by Trump as a HUD regional administrator in 2017, where she oversaw Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas. In 2015, Van Duyne faced controversy as mayor when she strongly supported a bill in the state legislature that would ban sharia law. Also that year, she defended the school and Irving Police Department when they arrested a 14- year-old Muslim boy for bringing a homemade clock to school that was mistaken for a bomb. To deal with issues like immigration and gun violence, Beth is in support of building a border wall, hiring more border agents, and increasing funding to the police. On women’s health issues, Van Duyne is vehemently pro- life, has attacked Planned Parenthood, and is endorsed by Texas Right To Life and the anti-choice group, Susan B. Anthony List.

This race has been ratedas a toss-up or tilt Republican. Here’s how you can support Candace’s campaign:

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