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In Texas 24th House District, Van Duyne Wins GOP Race, Runoff For Democrats

Candace Valenzuela
Syeda Hasan
Democratic candidate for Texas 24th Congressional District Candace Valenzuela greets supporters at a party at 55 Degrees Wine Bar in Carrollton Tuesday night.

In the wake of longtime U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant’s retirement, seven Democrats and five Republicans ran for the 24th Congressional District.

On the Republican side, former Irving mayor Beth Van Duyne won with almost 65% of the vote. 

Among the Democratic candidates, Kim Olson led the pack with over 40% of votes, but will head to a May runoff against Candace Valenzuela, who came in second with around 30% of votes.

Beth Van Duyne Wins Republican Primary

Beth Van Duyne
Credit Lauren Rangel / KERA News
Former Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne held a party for her campaign for the 24th U.S. House seat at her headquarters in Grapevine.

Beth Van Duyne will be headed to the general election this fall without having to go to a runoff, despite facing four other candidates. 

At her watch party Tuesday night, she said her strategy was to reach beyond her base.

“I think what you're seeing is folks who are unified in the Republican party, and not just the Republican party, but you see independents who have also jumped in,” Van Duyne said. “They want somebody who is a very strong individual, who's gotten things done and who'll be able to get things done.”

She told her supporters she will represent that unified conservative voice.

“We want somebody who’s going to be able to strengthen our borders. We want somebody who’ll back and support our military,” Van Duyne said. “These are things that as Americans all of us want. We don’t like attack style politics, and I know we don’t want socialism.” 

Runoff On The Horizon for Democrats

In a crowded field of Democrats, retired Air Force colonel Kim Olson took an early lead Tuesday. Olson was the top fundraiser in the Democratic primary for the suburban North Texas district. She got over 40% of the vote. 

At a campaign watch party Tuesday, she said if nominated, she feels confident she could win the general election. 

"I think what you see in our nation today is they want a leader that is not more divisive than what we got now, but someone that's going to pull the country back together, and do what's best for all people, and all people in TX24, and Texans as a whole," she said.

Olson ended up with about a 10 percentage-point lead over second place finisher Candace Valenzuela, a former member of the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school board. They'll head to a runoff in May.

Valenzuela, who’s earned endorsements from high-profile Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, said going to a runoff will give more her time to reach out to voters. 

"It's going to be great to be able to communicate our message without the fog of the presidentials hanging over us, everything going around Super Tuesday,” she said. “Those things tend to crowd out a lot of the messages down ballot." 

Early voting for the runoff election will start May 18 and Election Day will be May 26.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.
Syeda Hasan is the Elections Editor and Reporter at KERA. Before moving into that role, she covered mental health at the station. A Houston native, her journalism career has taken her to public radio newsrooms around Texas.