State Rep. Michelle Beckley, one of the House Democrats who is camped out in Washington, D.C., announced Tuesday that she is running for a seat in the United States House of Representatives.
Beckley, D-Carrollton, unveiled her plans to challenge U.S. Rep. Beth Van Duyne, R-Irving, in a video filmed inside a hotel room in the nation’s capital, where House Democrats fled earlier this month to break quorum in protest of Republicans’ priority elections bill. In the video, Beckley contrasted her commitment to the voting rights battle with Van Duyne’s vote earlier this year to object to the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania.
“Beth Van Duyne can walk away from her duty to defend democracy, but not me,” she said.
Beckley first won the House District 65 seat in 2018, defeating Republican Rep. Ron Simmons of Carrollton. She fended off GOP challenger Kronda Thimesch two years later, winning by a 3-point margin. Thimesch is running again for the seat in 2022, and soon after Beckley’s announcement, Thimesch released a scathing statement in response to Beckley, whom Thimesch has called the “most liberal member of the Texas House.”
“She has now deserted her constituents for the third time in two months,” Thimesch said. “Clearly, for Michelle, it was never about serving the people of House District 65 … it was always all about Michelle.”
House District 65 includes part of Highland Village and Lewisville.
Beckley is the second serious Democratic opponent that Van Duyne has attracted. Earlier this month, she drew a challenge from Derrik Gay, a Carrollton tax lawyer and former intelligence officer in the Marine Corps. Van Duyne had the closest congressional race in Texas last year, winning by 1 percentage point.
The 24th District currently includes areas of Carrollton, Coppell, Grapevine, Southlake and more around DFW Airport, but the boundaries are likely to change before the 2022 election due to redistricting.
Parts of this news story originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2021/07/20/texas-michelle-beckley-beth-van-duyne/.