Democrat Michelle Beckley announces campaign against Republican Beth Van Duyne for Congress

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Texas State Representative Michelle Beckley announced on Tuesday that she was challenging outgoing Republican Beth Van Duyne for Congress.

“The Texans want and deserve a champion in Congress who will stand up and fight for them,” Beckley said in a press release. “Beth Van Duyne has spent the past seven months spreading Donald Trump’s big lie and undermining our free and fair elections. The very fabric of our nation is under attack, and I am running for Congress to save it.

Earlier this year, Van Duyne, a first-year lawmaker, voted against the Pennsylvania presidential results, but supported certification of Arizona’s results. His votes took place hours after the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.

State Representative Michelle Beckley, D-Carrollton, greets a colleague to begin the special session on July 8, 2021. (Bob Daemmrich / Bob Daemmrich / CapitolPressPhoto)

Beckley, 51, made her announcement from Washington, DC, where she is out of quorum with more than 50 Texas House Democrats to block the GOP-led election bill. Beckley’s announcement video shows her in a Washington hotel room.

“Beth Van Duyne can shirk her duty to defend democracy, but I can’t,” Beckley says in the video. “LBJ said,” We don’t choose to be the gatekeepers, but there is no one other than us. “”

A Carrollton bird store owner is in her second term in the Texas Legislature. In 2018, she upset Carrollton Republican Ron Simmons to win State House District 65. In that election cycle, she was one of 12 Texas Democrats to win seats. Two years later, she beat Republican challenger Kronda Thimesch, who is running for the seat again in 2022.

But Beckley could have a tough race against Van Duyne, who is a former mayor of Irving and a former person appointed by Donald Trump as regional director of the housing department. Congressional District 24, the North Texas seat Van Duyne won in a deadly battle against Democrat Candace Valenzuela, is expected to change during this year’s redistribution process.

Beckley would join former Marine Derrik Gay in the Democratic primary. Gay, 36, spent 13 years in the Marine Corps as an intelligence officer before being medically released last year and said the Jan.6 attack on the Capitol was a ” call to action “. He cited riots and ongoing efforts by the GOP to impose voting restrictions in several states as the main driving force behind his campaign.

Derrik Gay, tax lawyer and former Marine, is the first Democratic challenger for the 24th Congressional District.  The district is currently held by Republican Representative Beth Van Duyne.
Representative Beth Van Duyne speaks alongside former Dallas Cowboys player Chad Hennings during a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday, July 11, 2021 in Dallas.  (Elias Valverde II / The Dallas Morning News)
Representative Beth Van Duyne speaks alongside former Dallas Cowboys player Chad Hennings during a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Sunday, July 11, 2021 in Dallas. (Elias Valverde II / The Dallas Morning News)(Elias Valverde II / Personal photographer)

The 24th Congressional District of Texas is a suburban district between Fort Worth and Dallas. It is one of nine districts that voted for President Joe Biden in 2020 while in Republican detention. In April, the Congressional Democratic campaign committee deemed it one of 22 battlefield districts for the 2022 midterm election.


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