(CBSDFW.COM) – Retired Air Force pilot and Colonel Kim Olson and former school board trustee Candace Valenzuela are making their case to Democratic voters to challenge Republican Beth Van Duyne in November for an open congressional seat in North Texas.
The 24th Congressional District is in parts of Dallas, Tarrant and Denton counties.
The current congressman, Republican Kenny Marchant, is retiring at the end of this term.
In 2018, he won a close race thanks to voters in Tarrant County but lost in Dallas and Denton counties.
The seat is considered to be a toss-up and is being watched closely not only in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but nationally as well.
Olson said, “I have a depth of experience, especially in crisis situations and battle tested 25 years in the uniform.”
Valenzuela said, “I’m rooted in my community. I live here. I’ve lived here for years. I’ve served here. I’ve been elected to represent a fifth of this district already as a school board trustee.”
Both Valenzuela and Olson are running television ads.
Olson has raised a total of more than $1.6 million, while Valenzuela has raised more than $1 million.
Both Valenzuela and Olson weighed in on how Congress should respond further to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olson said, “Congress is going to have to pass another relief package because again, the economy has not opened back up, folks are still unemployed. They can’t get back into our great service organizations and economy that we have and especially our small business folks.”
Valenzuela said, “I would be fighting for relief for our families, I would be fighting for relief for small businesses. I would be fighting for relief for our state and local governments, our institutions of higher learning or universities.”
Both say they believe reforms need to be made in policing.
Olson said, “For the police force that again, we need to refocus on what they’re there to do, and many states have passed rules about no chokeholds. Again, I think that’s the that’s the pathway to take.”
Valenzuela said, “I support encouraging oversight so that when we do have to investigate police-related shootings, that you don’t necessarily have to be dependent on the district attorney who has a daily working relationship with those police officers.”
The primary runoff is Tuesday.
Full Kim Olson Interview
Full Candace Valenzuela Interview