Battleground 2020Elections 2020FederalBeth Van Duyne Wins GOP Congressional Nomination, Olson and Valenzuela Will Battle in Democrat Runoff

Beth Van Duyne secured the Republican nomination while retired Air Force Colonel Kim Olson and school board member Candace Valenzuela will vie for the Democratic spot.
March 4, 2020

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In the race to succeed retiring Congressman Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24), former Irving mayor and regional director for Housing and Urban Development Beth Van Duyne secured the Republican nomination, while former Agriculture Commissioner candidate Kim Olson and local school board member Candace Valenzuela will face off for the Democratic nomination.

Van Duyne, who received the support of heavyweights like Secretary Ben Carson and President Donald Trump, managed to avoid a runoff despite facing four other candidates; David Fegan, Desi Maes, Sunny Chaparala, and Jeron Liverman. 

Texas’ 24th Congressional District.

Fegan came the closest to Van Duyne with 21 percent of the vote compared to the former Trump official’s 64 percent. 

Van Duyne only needed just over 50 percent in order to secure her spot on November’s ballot. 

In 2018, Marchant won reelection with 50.6 percent, and both national and state Democrats have eyed Texas’ 24th congressional district since. 

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Olson, a retired Air Force colonel who ran against Republican Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in 2018, received endorsements from The Dallas Morning News,, and the Stonewall Democrats of Dallas County. She’s touted her military experience and no-nonsense approach as strengths throughout the campaign.

Meanwhile, Valenzuela has emerged as the more progressive choice between the two Democrats. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and the Congressional Progressive PAC have all publicly thrown their support behind her campaign.

Valenzuela was temporarily homeless as a child and has spoken about her experience on the campaign trail.

The two defeated a slate of other Democrat candidates, including Jan McDowell, Crystal Fletcher, Richard Fleming, Sam Vega, and John Biggan.

Texas’ 24th Congressional District includes chunks of Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant counties.

While Van Duyne is set to appear on the ballot in November, the two Democrat candidates will face off once again on May 26.


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McKenzie DiLullo

McKenzie DiLullo serves as Senior Editor at The Texan. Previously, she worked as a Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.