May 9, 2021

RESULTS: Everything you need to know about Texas 24th Congressional District House race between Republican Beth Van Duyne and Democrat Candace Valenzuela

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Democrat Candace Valenzuela faces off against Republican Beth Van Duyne to represent Texas’ 24th Congressional District after incumbent Rep. Kenny Marchant announced his plans for retirement.

The candidates

Van Duyne is the former mayor of Irving, Texas. In 2017, she was appointed by President Donald Trump as a regional administrator for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development where she served until stepping down in 2019 to run for office.

“It’s time we had a Congress that works as hard as our president to deliver solutions for the American people to stop drug cartels and human traffickers, lower the costs and expand the options for health care, and grow our economy so more Americans have better job opportunities with higher wages,” Van Duyne said in a statement to The Dallas Morning News.

Van Duyne was endorsed by President Trump in a February tweet where he said that she “did Great things as Mayor of Irving, Texas, with my Administration. She is a Strong Conservative who supports Border Security, Loves our Military, Vets, and supports your #2A. Beth has my Full Endorsement for Congress!”

Valenzuela is an educator and member of her local school board. In an interview with Business Insider Today, she said the ongoing pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests helped her win the Democratic primary.

“A lot of the issues that we have in our income disparities, in our inequities, are in our unequal application of justice,” she said. “All of those things did play a role in the win here. And I think they’re going to continue to play a role going forward in November.”

In early August 2020, Valenzuela was endorsed by President Barack Obama in his first wave of 2020 endorsements. If elected, she would be the first Afro-Latina woman to serve in Congress. 

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The district

Texas’ 24th Congressional District is located in between Fort Worth and Dallas, and includes some of the suburban areas of Denton, Dallas, and Tarrant counties. 

This suburban district is racially diverse and has been both gaining population and trending favorably for Democrats over the past several election cycles. Out of the district’s population, nearly 25% identify as Hispanic or Latino of any race, 14% identify as Asian, and 13% identify as Black, according to the US Census Bureau.

Mitt Romney carried the district by a margin of nearly 22 percentage points in 2012, but Trump won it by just over six percentage points in 2016, according to the Daily Kos. In Texas’s 2018 US Senate race, Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke carried the district by 3.5 points over GOP Sen. Ted Cruz. 

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics and Federal Election Commission filings, Valenzuela has raised $4 million, spent $3.7 million, and has around $354,000 in cash on hand as of October 14. Van Duyne has raised $2.8 million, spent $2.4 million, and has $370,000 in cash on hand.  

What experts say

The race between Valenzuela and Van Duyne is rated as “tilts Democratic,” by Inside Elections and “leans Democratic” by Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics and The Cook Political Report.

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