TX-24: Candace Valenzuela (D)
Candace Valenzuela is a mother, an educator, and a lifelong Texan. She first ran for her local school board to improve Texas schools, becoming the first Latina and first African-American woman to serve on the Carrollton-Farmers Branch school board.
The daughter of U.S. Army veterans, Candace was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, into a family with generations of military service. Her great-grandfather came to the United States from Mexico, eventually fighting in World War I. And her grandfather fought in World War II.
Valenzuela was her high school’s first distinguished graduate. She graduated from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, Calif., on a full scholarship, becoming the first in her family to graduate from college. She pursued work in education, including mentoring youth, tutoring, and working with special-needs students.
She became involved in local politics and ran for office for the first time in 2017, when she was elected to the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District board as an at-large representative, defeating an 18-year incumbent. Since joining the board, she has pushed for funding for school renovations and focused on making sure the district is inclusive and welcoming to students of all backgrounds.
She has a diverse grassroots movement. She and her husband, Andy, live in Dallas and are the parents of two children: Cleto, born in 2015, and Jacinto, born in 2018.
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