Battleground 2020Elections 2020FederalCandace Valenzuela Wins Democratic Congressional Runoff, Will Face Republican Beth Van Duyne in November

Former school board member Candace Valenzuela received 60 percent of the vote and will face off against former Mayor Beth Van Duyne in the general election.
July 15, 2020
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Candace Valenzuela has defeated Kim Olson in the Democratic runoff for Texas Congressional District 24.

The latest tallies show Valenzuela, a former trustee on the board of Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, received 60 percent of the vote to Kim Olson’s 40 percent.

Valenzuela thanked her supporters on Twitter.

“I will never forget those of you who knocked doors, made calls, donated your hard earned money, and spoke with your family and friends about our race,” Valenzuela said.

Kim Olson, a retired Air Force colonel, conceded to Valenzuela.

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“The truth is, sometimes, a pilot knows when it’s time to land the jet. That isn’t what matters–what matters is you, the community,” Olson said.  

“Together, we fought to make [TX-24] safer for every voter, we fought to ensure every person has a chance, we fought to inspire the district, to eliminate the glass ceiling that can hold so many of us back.”

Former Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne, the Republican nominee for the seat, responded to the news of a finalized opponent via Twitter.

“Candace has actively sought and received, support from many extremists elected officials and organizations who believe in dismantling American security, fundamental rights, and crushing North Texans under socialized medicine and higher taxes on middle-class families,” Van Duyne said.

“The people of North Texas deserve a voice in Congress who is capable of strengthening our future and creating opportunities for our families and children — that will come from having Representation that vigorously works to empower people and families instead of vast, stifling government control.”

Valenzuela will face Van Duyne in the November 3 general election.

As results were being finalized, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) released a poll that showed 45 percent of voters in district opting for Valenzuela and 39 percent supporting Van Duyne.

In the March Democratic primary, Olson received 40 percent of the vote, while Valenzuela received 30 percent.

The Voter Protection Project, a Seattle-based political action committee, spent $125,000 on negative advertisements against Olson during the runoff.

Valenzuela raised $381,445 for the runoff while Olson raised $388,097.

Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24), who was reelected in 2018 with 51 percent of the vote, is retiring at the end of his current term.

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Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks

Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan in Dallas. During the academic year, he coaches high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.