As an open seat, following Kenny Marchant’s retirement announcement, the race for Texas’ 24th District is regarded by national pundits as quite competitive. Texas District 24 has traditionally been solid Republican territory, but Democrats are doing their best to turn it blue. Because of multiple Republican retirements, Nancy Pelosi dreams of expanding her House majority in 2020. She will not be able to fool the residents of Texas District 24. They still remember how, as a popular and effective Mayor, Beth Van Duyne made the City of Irving an economic powerhouse, one of the safest cities and one of the best places to live in America.
Beth Van Duyne, served as Irving’s mayor from 2011-2017 and then in May 2017 she joined the Trump Administration to become the regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Southwest regional office in Fort Worth. In August 2019, she decided it was time to serve her district in a different capacity. On her Facebook page, she said:
“My name is Beth Van Duyne and I’m running for Congress because I know the people of the 24th District deserve to have a strong, principled voice in Congress.”
Before Van Duyne can get to the general election, she must beat her Republican Primary challengers on March 3, 2020. Primaries can be just as tough as general elections. But the residents of her district, like in the past, should remain steadfast and stand fully behind Beth Van Duyne, a solid constitutional conservative, and support her through both the primary and general election.
In an interview with Jimmy Atkinson, she explained her role as a Mayor of the City of Irving as well as HUD’s prospect:
“I was on the City Council for six years and then Mayor for six years. I just had a passion. I was a homeowner and a Mom and I just had a passion for working within my city and I saw a need for strong representatives and I threw my hat in the ring. We have a very diverse city, are one of the top hundred largest cities in the country with a population of about 250,000 and are home of six Fortune 500 company headquarters.”
Under Van Duyne’s leadership, Irving blossomed into an economic powerhouse and the City passed a balanced budget, increased property values, and delivered AAA ratings from Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s during one of the weakest economic periods in America’s history.
Van Duyne worked diligently to bring her city back from the days of escalating debt, wasteful spending, and backroom deals. She delivered outstanding growth that brought 10,000 new jobs to Irving, voted against tax rate increases, and led Irving to its highest construction rates in twenty-eight years at that time. This was a success borne of determination to do what is right for the people of Irving and to bring about a more secure future for the city. For her hard work and great vision, she earned the support of the residents and businesses of Irving.
An overview of her perseverance as Mayor of Irving
Throughout her tenure as the Mayor of Irving, Van Duyne fought to build a positive economic environment that provided an opportunity to make the kind of structural changes necessary to usher in decades of future growth. Van Duyne said, “in order to succeed, we must make certain our foundation is solid. Focus on the fundamentals, ensure our citizens are well-served and well-respected, and set the stage for future opportunities – these are the three principles that should guide us through the budget process.”
Focus on the fundamentals
It is no secret that even as the city was growing and empowered with additional revenue, it was also experiencing increased costs and continued to deal with legacy debt from past projects that went awry. Due, in part, to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more than $700,000 in healthcare costs had been added to the overall budget. Energy and pension costs also increased.
Yet, even with those increased costs, they were in a position to ensure they could prioritize the fundamentals necessary to protect the neighborhoods, improve the infrastructure, and serve the citizens of Irving. To that end, she supported a budget that reflected a commitment to:
- Public safety by funding police, fire, and code enforcement personnel necessary to protect neighborhoods and keep families safe.
- Developing new infrastructure by investing in roads, water, sewers, and other basic infrastructure that had not received the needed attention to accommodate Irving’s increasing population;
- First-class city services by focusing on city personnel who were the front lines to help citizens, small businesses, and tax payers who enable further opportunities for Irving;
- Responsive governance by ensuring citizens are better informed and can more easily provide feedback, concerns, and guidance to elected officials so officials were accurately and effectively meeting their needs.
Setting the stage for growth and opportunity
At the time, no other state in the nation was experiencing the strength and diversity of growth that Texas has benefited from during the past six years. While the recession did some damage, Texas led the way in recovering and continued to lead the way in 2014.
Irving was well positioned to make the most of this growth by creating new opportunities for families to move there, businesses to re-locate there, and innovation to take root. Van Duyne was able to prioritize this growth and spur it forward by investing in key areas, including:
- Single-family homes to bring the next generation of Irving families;
- A revitalized Heritage District that both recognized the past while embracing new opportunities to entice technology start-up businesses;
- An enhanced urban center that capitalized on investments the City had already made to attract new residents and create new job opportunities.
Because of her hard work, strong principles and effective leadership, Beth Van Duyne, helped lead her community to become one of the fastest growing, best performing, safest, and best places to live all while having the most diverse zip code in the country.
Now, Beth Van Duyne, a champion of freedom, fights for a spot in the US Congress. It is morally our duty and responsibility to reciprocate and send her to Washington.
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