Beth Van Duyne

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Beth Van Duyne
Beth Van Duyne.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 24th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2021
Preceded byKenny Marchant
Mayor of Irving
In office
July 7, 2011 – May 16, 2017
Preceded byHerbert Gears
Succeeded byRick Stopfer
Personal details
Born (1970-11-16) November 16, 1970 (age 52)
Ithaca, New York, U.S.[1]
Political partyRepublican
Spouse
Casey Wallach
(m. 1995; div. 2012)
Children2
EducationCornell University (BA)
Signature
WebsiteHouse website

Elizabeth Ann Van Duyne (/ˌvænˈdn/ van-DYNE; born November 16, 1970)[2] is an American politician serving as the U.S. representative for Texas's 24th congressional district.[3] A member of the Republican Party, she was mayor of Irving from 2011 to 2017. She was an official in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development during the Trump administration.

Early life and education[edit]

Van Duyne was born in upstate New York and lived in Amsterdam, New York, until she was seven years old and later lived in Cooperstown.[4] In 1986, her family moved to Irving, Texas. She graduated from Greenhill School in Addison, Texas. She also graduated from Cornell University, magna cum laude, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in city and regional planning, government, and law.[5][6]

Career[edit]

Van Duyne as HUD Southwest Regional Administrator in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2019

Van Duyne became dissatisfied with Herbert Gears, the Democratic Irving city councillor representing her,[4] over how he handled a zoning case in her neighborhood.[7] She ran against Gears in the 2004 election, and won. Gears was elected mayor in 2005. Van Duyne stepped down from the council in 2010, and successfully ran for mayor against Gears in the 2011 election.[5] She defeated Gears in a rematch in 2014.[8]

In 2015, following an article by Breitbart News that made a false allegation that a court in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex followed sharia law, Van Duyne pushed for a vote on a resolution in the Irving City Council that expressed support of a bill in the Texas Legislature seeking to ban sharia law.[9][10] Also in 2015, when Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old Muslim boy, was arrested for bringing a homemade clock, which teachers thought was a bomb, to school, Van Duyne defended the school's and the Irving Police Department's actions.[11][12] She was named as a co-defendant in a defamation lawsuit initiated by Mohamed's father.[13] Van Duyne was dismissed from the suit, based partially on the Texas Citizens Participation Act, a state law that "prohibits the use of lawsuits to intimidate or silence citizens and public officials from exercising their right of free speech."[14][15] The entire suit was eventually dismissed by the judge, who ruled the plaintiffs had failed to prove officials discriminated against Mohamed.[16]

In February 2017, Van Duyne announced she would not seek a third term as mayor.[8] In May 2017, President Donald Trump appointed Van Duyne as a regional administrator for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), overseeing Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas.[17][18]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2020[edit]

After Kenny Marchant announced in August 2019 that he would not seek reelection to the United States House of Representatives, Van Duyne resigned from HUD so that she could run to succeed Marchant in representing Texas's 24th congressional district, a suburban stretch between Dallas and Fort Worth, including parts of Denton, Dallas, and Tarrant counties.[19][20] She received Trump's endorsement in early 2020[21] and won the Republican primary on March 3, defeating four rivals with about 65% of the vote.[22]

In the general election, Van Duyne faced the Democratic nominee, Candace Valenzuela, a former Carrollton-Farmers Branch school board member.[23] Van Duyne opposed the Affordable Care Act, saying it "has done profound damage to the healthcare of Americans."[24][25] During the campaign, she ran advertisements in which she said she would protect laws that require preexisting conditions to be covered by insurance.[26] During the campaign, Valenzuela criticized Van Duyne for holding events where she did not wear a face mask and did not socially distance, in contradiction to public health guidance at the time.[27] Van Duyne called Valenzuela a "coward" for not campaigning in person amid the pandemic.[27] Van Duyne praised the Trump administration's handling of the pandemic.[24] On criminal justice reform, Van Duyne stated her opposition to ending cash bail.[24] The Atlantic has described Van Duyne as "the new face of Trumpism in Texas."[28]

On November 3, Van Duyne defeated Valenzuela, 48.8% to 47.5%, even as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden carried the district by 5 points.[29] According to the Dallas Morning News, Van Duyne focused on public safety and the economy during the campaign.[30] During the campaign, approximately $7.6 million was spent on advertisements against Van Duyne and $7.9 million on advertisements against Valenzuela.[30]

Tenure[edit]

Van Duyne is one of 147 Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn results in the 2020 presidential election[31] by objecting to Pennsylvania's electors on January 7, 2021.[32]

Van Duyne's district was competitive in the 2020 elections, but redistricting maps released by Republicans in 2021 shift the lean of her district to the right by nearly 20 points, making it non-competitive.[33] The proposed maps would draw her 2020 challenger's home out of the district.[33]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus Memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Van Duyne met her former husband, Chris "Casey" Wallach, while they were attending Cornell University.[5] They have two children,[37] and divorced in 2012 after being married for 17 years.[38]

In February 2021, a man committed suicide by firearm outside of Van Duyne's home in Irving.[39] The man was identified as Richard Christian Dillard, a former communications staffer for Van Duyne's 2020 House campaign.[40]

Electoral history[edit]

Texas's 24th congressional district, 2020[29]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Beth Van Duyne 167,374 48.8
Democratic Candace Valenzuela 162,749 47.5
Libertarian Darren Hamilton 5,630 1.6
Independent Steve Kuzmich 4,218 1.2
Independent Mark Bauer 2,903 0.8
Total votes 342,874 100.0

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "HUD Archives: Beth Van Duyne Named HUD SW Regional Administrator". archives.hud.gov.
  2. ^ Bautista, Lillian (November 30, 2020). "Rep.-elect Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas-24)". The Hill. Retrieved December 1, 2020.
  3. ^ Democrat Candace Valenzuela Concedes To Beth Van Duyne In North Texas Congressional Race, KTVT-TV CBS Channel 11, CBSDFW.COM, Fort Worth, Texas, November 10, 2020. Retrieved November 10, 2020. "Now that nearly all the votes have been counted and there is no longer a path, we are conceding. I want to congratulate Beth Van Duyne on her victory".
  4. ^ a b Girsdansky, Gwen. Texas mayor has Amsterdam roots, Schenectady, New York The Daily Gazette, July 27, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Formby, David (June 25, 2011). "Friends, family say Irving's new mayor full of energy and dedication". Dallas News. Archived from the original on August 6, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  6. ^ Beth Van Duyne, The Sumners Foundation. Accessed September 14, 2020.
  7. ^ Formby, Brandon (June 11, 2011). "Irving mayor runoff battle part of long war for Gears, Van Duyne". Dallas News. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne will not seek third term | Irving". Dallas News. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  9. ^ "Shariah flap pushes Irving mayor into national spotlight | Irving". Dallas News. July 28, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  10. ^ Izadi, Elahe (September 16, 2015). "The history of anti-Islam controversy in Ahmed Mohamed's Texas city". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  11. ^ Ferner, Matt. "Irving Mayor Defends School And Cops, Doesn't Apologize For Arrest Of Muslim Teen Over Clock". HuffPost. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  12. ^ Hooks, Christopher (June 13, 2016). "Irving, Texas: An Unlikely Home for Islamophobia". Texas Observer. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  13. ^ Jagannathan, Meera (May 9, 2017). "Texas mayor and Sharia law crusader Beth Van Duyne starts regional HUD job in Trump administration". New York Daily News. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  14. ^ Farmer, Liz. Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne to be dismissed from crumbling ‘clock boy' defamation suit, Dallas Morning News, January 14, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2020. "Van Duyne's dismissal comes after her attorneys alleged that she's immune from the lawsuit as a government official. There was also a motion to dismiss the suit based on the Texas Citizens Participation Act, a state law that 'prohibits the use of lawsuits to intimidate or silence citizens and public officials from exercising their right of free speech,' according to the city of Irving news release."
  15. ^ Cardona, Claire (January 31, 2017). "Irving mayor dismissed from 'clock boy' defamation suit". Dallas News. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  16. ^ Becket, Stefan (May 19, 2017). "Ahmed Mohamed, "Clock Boy," loses federal discrimination lawsuit". CBS News. Retrieved September 3, 2019.
  17. ^ Brandon Formby (May 8, 2017). "Trump names Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne regional HUD administrator". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  18. ^ Simek, Peter (August 29, 2017). "Former Irving Mayor Faces Tough Road Leading HUD Through Houston Catastrophe". D Magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  19. ^ Heinz, Frank (August 5, 2019). "Beth Van Duyne Leaving HUD, Running for Kenny Marchant's District 24 Seat". NBCDFW. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  20. ^ Panetta, Grace. Everything you need to know about Texas' 24th Congressional District House race between Beth Van Duyne and Candace Valenzuela, Business Insider, August 28, 2020. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  21. ^ Bowman, Bridget. Where do Democrats want to expand their House majority? Look no further than Texas’ 24th District, Roll Call, February 26, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  22. ^ Zeeble, Bill & Syeda Hasan. In Texas 24th House District, Van Duyne Wins GOP Race, Runoff For Democrats, KERA-TV, North Texas Public Broadcasting, Inc., Dallas, Texas, March 4, 2020. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  23. ^ "Candace Valenzuela wins Texas runoff, stands to be first Afro-Latina in Congress". Nbcnews.com. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  24. ^ a b c "Beth Van Duyne, Candace Valenzuela Battle For North Texas' Open 24th Congressional Seat Considered Toss-Up". October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  25. ^ "Voter guide: Questionnaire for Beth Van Duyne, candidate for United States Representative". voterguide.dallasnews.com. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  26. ^ Zanona, Melanie. Coronavirus poses new threat to endangered Texas Republicans, Politico, August 25, 2020. Retrieved September 16, 2020.
  27. ^ a b "Mask wearing has been politicized, and now is a defining issue in a hot North Texas congressional race". Dallas News. October 23, 2020. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  28. ^ Khazan, Olga (April 17, 2021). "The New Face of Trumpism in Texas". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  29. ^ a b Unofficial Results. U.S. Representative District 24, Texas Secretary of State, November 5, 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  30. ^ a b Garcia, Nic. Candace Valenzuela concedes to Beth Van Duyne in heated North Texas congressional race, Dallas Morning News, November 10, 2020.
  31. ^ Yourish, Karen; Buchanan, Larry; Lu, Denise (January 7, 2021). "The 147 Republicans Who Voted to Overturn Election Results". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  32. ^ Thompson, Elizabeth (January 7, 2021). "Irving Rep. Beth Van Duyne was sole Texas representative to split vote on Electoral College count". Dallas News. Retrieved September 13, 2021.
  33. ^ a b Berman, Ari. "Texas Republicans are pulling out all the stops to dilute the voting power of people of color". Mother Jones. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  34. ^ "Van Duyne Selected to Serve on House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee | Representative Beth Van Duyne". vanduyne.house.gov. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  35. ^ "Van Duyne Selected to Serve on House Small Business Committee | Representative Beth Van Duyne". vanduyne.house.gov. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  36. ^ "Homepage of Republican Governance Group". Republican Governance Group. December 14, 2019.
  37. ^ "Dispute over Islam lands Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne on national stage | News". The Dallas Morning News. March 24, 2015. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  38. ^ Formby, Brandon (September 28, 2012). "In bid for privacy, Irving mayor files for divorce using her initials". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  39. ^ Thompson, Elizabeth (February 11, 2021). "Man who killed himself outside of Rep. Van Duyne's Irving house was a former staffer". Dallas News. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  40. ^ "Man dies by suicide outside U.S. representative's Texas home". news.yahoo.com. Retrieved February 24, 2021.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 24th congressional district

2021–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
417th
Succeeded by