As a self-proclaimed introvert, she started off feeling queasy and even throwing up before public speaking engagements. Now, Sarah Depew is confidently running for a seat in the Texas House of Representatives, District 67 (or TX-HD 67). Her transition into confidence began after connecting with a group of fellow women candidates across North Texas, now referred to as the Women on Fire. Depew knew she had to run for office after the 2016 Presidential Election, citing that there was no longer a “good enough excuse not to.” Despite her original timid tendencies, Depew admires her own journey of finding strength, while relying on a fellowship of other women. She is, for all purposes, a woman on fire.
Julia O’Hanlon helped make statewide news after leading an all-female, University of Texas (UT) Student Government executive alliance ticket (the Guneez & Hannah ticket featured by Lone Star Parity Project earlier this year). She served their team as the Campaign Manager, a role she had never filled before but was eager to jump into when she learned that the Guneez & Hannah team would focus their platform efforts on marginalized communities. What O’Hanlon didn’t know was that she would face off an opposing executive alliance ticket in three rounds of voting: one general election, one recall election, and one run off election. Although her team did not come out victorious, O’Hanlon has made strides towards a transformed UT campus after the Guneez & Hannah ticket faced racial and gender discrimination during the election cycles.
Tania Rodriguez is part of the movement to recall Councilmember Tom Harrison’s seat on the Plano City Council; Councilmember Harrison fell under fire after he shared a video on his Facebook account, calling for a ban of Islam in schools. Rodriguez and fellow community members in the City of Plano have acted to remove Harrison from the council, including filing a petition that garnered over 4,400 signatures to recall his election. Now, Rodriguez hopes to utilize her experience mobilizing her community in an effort to eliminate hate speech and discrimination through the local organization Our Plano, One Plano. Rodriguez wants to eliminate discrimination, saying “it has no place in this community of ours.”
Jan McDowell recently won the Democratic nomination for the 24th Congressional District of Texas against three other opponents. Miraculously, she left the primary election without a run-off. McDowell accredits her phenomenal success to her former campaign for Congress in 2016, when she began garnering community support. Additionally, McDowell has been living in North Texas since she was eight years old, giving her insight to the changing demographics of the community. Now as a campaign veteran, McDowell is flying speedily towards a potential success in November’s general election.
Linda Harvell grew up in College Station where she now serves on the City Council. She noted that running for a political position was never her ultimate career goal, but the events in her life and her desire to do something for her community led her to participate in her hometown’s political scene. Last November, Linda was re-elected to her Place 3 post with 3,295 votes (68% of the vote) to serve her first full three-year term on the Council. She, her fellow councilmen, and the mayor all have the power to appoint the City Manager, adopt the city budget, and appoint members to all commissions and boards. The City Council also establishes policies regarding zoning, parks, and other strategic development issues. College Station, home to Texas A&M University, is an interesting region to serve considering the widely diverse constituency constantly fluxes throughout the year and the city is growing exponentially due to the university bringing over 60,000 students to the area each year. Linda is keenly aware of these changes; she has seen College Station develop since it’s very beginnings.
Pamela Luther is currently seeking the Democratic nomination for Dallas County Court of Criminal Appeals #2. Though she hasn’t run for office before, she has led her way into a Primary runoff, making her one of the top two candidate picks for the Dallas County Democratic Party. Luther holds one of the most interesting and valuable experiences for her race: she has not only served as a Public Defender but also a Prosecutor for Dallas County – giving her insight on both sides of the courtroom. Now, Luther wants to use this incredible experience to serve her hometown county as a judge, where she will no longer persuade a decision but determine it.
Sasha Moreno is seeking the Democratic nomination for Dallas County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4-2. She is currently taking part in a Primary runoff election, that will finally come to a close on election day, May 22nd. Even in the face of an additional election cycle, Moreno feels victorious knowing she battled the odds to land a spot in the primary run off. Though she wasn’t pegged as the original candidate favored to win the race, Moreno has dedicatedly served countless hours on the block walking trail, vowing to serve the community who has believed in her thus far. Moreno is the hardworking, self-proclaimed “underdog”, destined for greatness.
Who runs the world? Still men... but Kim Olson knows how to work within that world and is doing her damnest to swing the door open for women to march their asses in. She is currently running for Texas Commissioner for Agriculture. Speaking with Olson for an hour gives a window into her life and the wisdom she has gained. Her warm disposition paired with a relaxed vocabulary makes it easy to relate to her extraordinary stories and seem like you are talking to a life-long friend. The experience of living on overseas bases while growing up heavily influenced her. At the age of 14, she was with her parents who were teachers on Clark Air Force Base when the POWs came off an airplane from Vietnam. The patriotism, grace, and appreciation for freedom greatly impacted Olson.
After serving as the Brazos County Commissioner for Precinct 4 for 9 years, Irma Cauley overcame challenger Tommy Anderson in March’s Democratic primary, winning with 80 percent of the vote. The two-term incumbent will run against Republican Timothy Delasandro in the general election later this year. As the County Commissioner, Irma handles non-state-maintained transportation, county employee wages, and finances for Brazos County. “When the state and federal laws come, it's right here at our desks that we have to implement [them],” she said of her role. Precinct 4 includes some centralized parts of the county, including half of Texas A&M University.