Battleground 2020Elections 2020IssuesState HouseBattleground 2020: Michelle Beckley’s Denton County State House Seat Top Target For GOP

The seat currently held by freshman State Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton) is a top priority for the Texas GOP and a key battleground race next year.
December 26, 2019
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Texas House District 65, located in Denton County, has four female candidates vying to fill the seat for the next legislative session.

The district, which flipped from Republican to Democrat in 2018, takes in most of the city of Lewisville and a significant portion of Carrollton.

Freshman State Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton) defeated incumbent Ron Simmons in 2018 by a margin of about 1300 votes. She has filed to run again and is facing one Democratic opponent in the March primary, Paige Dixon.

Beckley was inspired to run for office by the Dallas Women’s March in 2017. According to her re-election campaign website, her legislative priorities in the last session were “providing healthcare for all Texans, medical marijuana and hemp research.”

She authored a bill to change several state law provisions to allow for same-sex unions and pushed for Medicaid expansion.

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According to her campaign website, she has been endorsed by groups such as Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, AFL-CIO, and Sierra Club.

Beckley is a small business owner of the Kookaburra Bird Shop. Before her election in 2018, she had not held any other elected offices.

Paige Dixon, who is challenging Beckley in the Democratic primary, says she “intends to incite change by improving education, healthcare, and support for working families” if elected. One of her specific legislative priorities is to provide debt-free higher education.

Dixon has also embraced a position pushed by gay and lesbian activists in favor of banning conversion or reparative therapy in Texas, according to her campaign’s Facebook page.  

She is a veteran of the Iraq War and mother of two. Having never held any elected office, Dixon claims that she is “not a career politician looking to climb the ladder.”  

No endorsements were listed on Dixon’s campaign website.

REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

Two candidates are attempting to take District 65 back for the GOP, Kronda Thimesch and Nancy Cline.

Kronda Thimesch, a long-time resident of District 65 and business owner, has been endorsed by many local officeholders and party activists, including former representative Ron Simmons and Denton County Judge Andy Eads. 

She currently is serving her second term on the Lewisville ISD board of directors and was named the Denton County GOP Volunteer of the Year for 2019.

Among the issues that Thimesch says she will work for if elected are defending the unborn, strengthening border security, improving education, and improving transportation.

Nancy Cline, a civil engineer and two-time president of the Carrollton-Farmers Branch School Board, is also running for House District 65. She entered the race to challenge Beckley, who was ranked one of the most liberal members of the 86th Legislative Session by Mark Jones, a political science fellow at Rice University.

Cline touts her record of reducing the tax rate 12 out of the last 15 years while serving on the school board. Cline had no endorsements listed on her campaign website.

If elected, Cline says she will work to bring meaningful property tax relief and stop the practice of unfunded mandates by the state on local governments. She also says she will be “pro-active about protecting pro-life values.”

The district is a top priority for the Texas GOP.

 

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Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts

Kim Roberts is a reporter for the Texan in the DFW metroplex area where she has lived for over twenty years. She has a Juris Doctor from Baylor University Law School and a Bachelor's in government from Angelo State University. In her free time, Kim home schools her daughter and coaches high school extemporaneous speaking and apologetics. She has been happily married to her husband for 23 years, has three wonderful children, and two dogs.