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Carrollton state representative announces run for U.S. Rep. Colin Allred’s seat

State Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton, speaks to the press in Austin to announce the new LGBTQ Caucus on Feb. 5, 2019.
Emree Weaver
The Texas Tribune
State Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton, speaks to the press in Austin to announce the new LGBTQ Caucus on Feb. 5, 2019.

State Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton, announced Tuesday she’s running to replace U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, D-Dallas, kicking off her campaign with a significant show of support from inside her party.

In an announcement video, Johnson highlighted her experience as an LGBTQ Texan, mother, lawyer and state legislator who unseated a Republican in 2018.

“From every table — the kitchen, to the courtroom, and in the Texas Legislature — I already know how to get the job done and win the toughest battles,” Johnson said, adding that she is running to “turn the tables in Washington and make government work for you.”

Johnson joins a crowded Democratic primary to succeed Allred, who is giving up his solidly blue seat to challenge U.S. Sen. Ted Cruznext year. Other Democrats who have announced campaigns include Dallas trauma surgeon Brian Williams, Dallas civil-rights attorney Justin Moore and prior North Texas congressional candidates Sandeep Srivastava and Jan McDowell.

Johnson’s campaign has been long anticipated, and she begins with a list of notable endorsers. They include the Texas chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, the Human Rights Campaign and state Reps. Venton Jones of Dallas and Donna Howard of Austin; and U.S. Reps. Ritchie Torres of New York and Mark Takano of Wisconsin. Torres and Takano are co-chairs of the Congressional Equality Caucus.

Johnson has also assembled a finance committee with over 60 members. Its chair is Morgan Cox, the Dallas-based chair of the Human Rights Campaign board of directors.

Johnson appears to be the only Democratic member of the Legislature who will run for the seat. Some others from the area, like Reps.Rhetta Bowersand Ana Maria Ramos, have already ruled out running.

Johnson’s decision to run for Congress opens up her state House seat in northwest Dallas County. Shortly after Johnson announced her congressional campaign, Dallas lawyer Cassandra Hernandez announced she would run to succeed Johnson in Texas House District 115, which favors Democrats. Hernandez ran last year for a nearby state House district, losing in a Democratic primary runoff.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

Patrick Svitek is a reporter for the Texas Tribune. He previously worked for the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau. He graduated in 2014 from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He originally is from Fort Wayne, Indiana.