If her lead holds, former Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne will be the new Republican representative for Texas Congressional District 24.
She is currently leading her opponent, Democrat Candace Valenzuela, a former trustee on the board of Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, by about 4,643 votes.
Van Duyne declared victory late on election night. “I commit to you tonight that not only is it important to represent everyone in this room, but everyone in this district. So I will continue to reach out…that is the American way.”
Valenzuela’s team, however, has not conceded the race. “Beth Van Duyne’s declaration of victory is premature and irresponsible. Our campaign is committed to a full and complete count of all ballots so that every ballot is counted and every voice is heard.”
The Van Duyne campaign released a statement saying that its analysis of any remaining uncounted votes in Tarrant County would not provide a path to victory for Valenzuela.
“Even in the highly unlikely situation all outstanding 14,000 absentee ballots in Tarrant County are from our district, Beth still wins,” stated Donald Rickard, Van Duyne’s campaign manager.
The district, which was heavily targeted by Democrats, was recently changed from a “toss up” to “leans Democratic” by the Cook Political Report.
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX-24) announced his retirement last year after serving in the seat since 2004.
He won his last re-election campaign in 2018 with just over 50 percent of votes cast.
The district encompasses parts of three North Texas counties: Dallas, Denton, and Tarrant.
Valenzuela won more votes in Dallas and Denton counties, but Van Duyne overcame the deficit with a large margin in Tarrant County.
Van Duyne won her primary in March outright against four opponents. She gained support from President Donald Trump and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson.
Van Duyne served as a regional administrator for HUD, overseeing Texas and four surrounding states.
Valenzuela faced a primary runoff in July against retired Air Force Colonel Kim Olson. Olson had won more votes in the March primary contest, but then Valenzuela turned the tables and defeated Olson in the runoff, 60 percent to 40 percent.
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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.