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Republican Van Duyne wins race for Texas House seat

Republican Van Duyne wins race for Texas House seat
© Facebook: Beth Van Duyne

Former Irving, Texas, Mayor Beth Van Duyne (R) successfully defended a GOP seat in Texas targeted by Democrats.

Van Duyne defeated Democrat Candace Valenzuela to succeed retiring GOP Rep. Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantRepublican Van Duyne wins race for Texas House seat Cook Political Report shifts 8 more House races toward Democrats Democrats seek wave to bolster House majority MORE in Texas's 24th District, according to The Associated Press.

The AP called the race for Van Duyne on Tuesday afternoon, one week after Election Day, after she won 48.8 percent of the vote to Valenzuela's 47.5 percent with all precincts reporting.

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Van Duyne said in a statement that she was "honored the people of North Texas have placed their faith and trust in me to serve as their voice in Congress." Her campaign noted that she is only the second Texas Republican woman elected to a full term in the House.

"This was a hard-fought election under the most challenging and bizarre of circumstances we have ever seen. I'm so humbled and thankful for the tens of thousands of people who were willing to engage with our campaign and personally speak with me about the difficulties they are facing and their aspirations for the future of their families and North Texas," she said. 

Democrats had hoped Valenzuela would lead the way for a series of House pickups in Texas. Instead, they watched as targeted seats in the state flashed red on the election map.

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The former school board member conceded on Tuesday after the race remained close for several days, with mail ballots and other provisional ballots trickling in.

"First, I want to thank all the volunteers and supporters who knocked on doors, hosted virtual campaign events, and made hundreds of thousands of phone calls in support of our grassroots movement," Valenzuela said in a statement. "I have new friends and role models, some of whom are not yet old enough to drive. Now that nearly all the votes have been counted and there is no longer a path, we are conceding. I want to congratulate Beth Van Duyne on her victory."

 

Van Duyne, who also served the Trump administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was outraised by Valenzuela, who garnered $4 million to Van Duyne's $2.8 million.

The race became heated as Democrats targeted the demographically changing Dallas-area district as part of their Red to Blue program.

But outside spending flowed freely into the race, with national groups spending more than $7 million on attack ads against either candidate.