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Minority caucuses endorse Texas Afro-Latina for Congress

Minority caucuses endorse Texas Afro-Latina for Congress
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The political arms of the three major minority House caucuses endorsed Democrat Candace Valenzuela Tuesday.

Valenzuela is facing a July runoff against fellow Democrat Kim Olson.

The endorsement is the first granted to a congressional candidate in 2020 by the Tri-Caucus — the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) and Congressional Asian American Pacific American Caucus.

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"Bold PAC is proud to stand with Aspire PAC and CBCPAC to support Candace Valenzuela, in Texas’ 24th run-off," said Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), chairman of CHC Bold PAC.

"Candace is a Texas native who has faced and overcome hardships and yet has always found a way to give back and uplift her community. Candace is the type of leader we want in Congress and the leader our country needs right now,” added Cárdenas.

The winner of the Democratic runoff will face Republican Beth Van Duyne, a former mayor and Trump administration official, in the general election to fill retiring GOP Rep. Kenny MarchantKenny Ewell MarchantDemocrats seek wave to bolster House majority Democrats, GOP fighting over largest House battlefield in a decade Warren, Porter to headline progressive fundraiser supporting seven swing state candidates MORE's seat.

Valenzuela, who raised more than $300,000 in the first quarter of 2020, is the only Latina challenger running in Texas this cycle.

The endorsement pits the Tri-Caucus against an establishment candidate, Olson, who's been endorsed by major Dallas newspapers.

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But Valenzuela's supporters see her as a candidate to follow in the footsteps of Democratic Reps. Sylvia GarciaSylvia GarciaTexas social workers drop nondiscrimination rules for LGBTQ, disabilities Hispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities MORE and Veronica EscobarVeronica EscobarProgressive lawmakers call for United Nations probe into DHS 'human rights abuses' Pocan won't seek another term as Progressive Caucus co-chair Trump's illness sparks new urgency for COVID-19 deal MORE, who in 2018 became the first Latinas to represent Texas in Congress.

“ASPIRE is excited to join BOLD PAC and CBCPAC in supporting Candace for TX-24. Candace is a proven champion for her community who understands the kitchen table issues that families face. I know that she will be a powerful voice for Texas families in Congress," said Rep. Grace MengGrace MengHouse passes resolution condemning anti-Asian discrimination relating to coronavirus Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race This week: House returns for pre-election sprint MORE (D-N.Y.), Chair of ASPIRE.

Republicans are prepared to campaign on Olson's negatives, as they did in 2018 when she ran unsuccessfully for Texas agriculture commissioner.

In 2016, Olson was investigated by the Pentagon for her role in a war-profiteering scandal, and she took a plea deal for lesser charges that allowed her to keep her rank and be honorably discharged from the Air Force.

Progressives supporting Valenzuela, including pro-choice electoral advocacy group Emily's List, have cited Olson's negatives while touting Valenzuela as a "perfect fit" for the Dallas-area district.

“Our citizens deserve leaders who understand the challenges of everyday Americans. The CBCPAC is proud to join with ASPIRE PAC and BOLD PAC to support Candace Valenzuela in her bid to represent the people in Texas' 24th Congressional District,” said Rep. Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksCedric Richmond's next move: 'Sky's the limit' if Biden wins Bottom line Democrats go big on diversity with new House recruits MORE (D-N.Y.), chairman of CBCPAC.