Aylin Segura, an entering freshman at Mountain View College and aspiring dentist, gained her first insight into politics during her freshman year at Skyline High School after campaigning for Wendy Davis in the 2014 Texas Gubernatorial Race. From there, she has testified on legislation affecting sex education in schools, received statewide news media attention for her work with gun violence prevention on campuses, and, now, chartered the first ever menstrual equity initiative in Texas. She is passionate vessel for student welfare and can’t be stopped. This is (HER)story.
Honorable Lana Myers currently serves in Place 4 as a Justice for the 5th District Court of Appeals, covering a large portion of North Texas. Her journey as a conservative elected official has spanned for more than two decades, including terms on the 5th District Court of Appeals and the 203rd Judicial District Court, a criminal district court in Dallas County. Her passion for politics spurred in her childhood but did not avail to fruition until she began working for the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office as a prosecutor. As a candidate who has faced both an appointment and an election process, she recognizes the partisan and politically-charged challenges of becoming an elected official. Lana advises young women interested in pursuing office to “exude your own credibility.”
As a woman in East Texas politics, Kristen Ishihara is making a difference in her community and giving back in every way she can. Though not raised in Texas - or even in the southern region of the United States, for that matter - Kristen Ishihara has found that her family, friends, and Christianity have shaped her into the politician she is today. After graduating from Western Michigan University, Ishihara moved to Waco, Texas, where she attended Baylor Law School. She moved to Longview, Texas, and was first exposed to small-town politics when she noticed there was not a public dog park in the area.
Juli Mathew is running for County Court of Law #3 in Fort Bend County which encompasses twelve cities outside of Houston, Texas. As an immigrant woman from India, Juli has led an uphill battle to bring more intersectional Asian representation across elected office in the area. Her journey hasn’t been easy: she has faced a variety of disparaging remarks during her time campaigning, especially regarding her comingling roles as a mother and candidate. Her campaign focuses on cost-saving measures that can be brought to the Fort Bend County court system with hopes of embracing the diverse community and understanding the obstacles they may face. But to accomplish this, Juli must stand strong in the face of adversity.
Christi Craddick was elected Texas Railroad Commissioner in 2012 and has held her seat for two terms. She works in Austin to assure the oil, gas, and railroad industries of Texas are operating at their top performance. Experiences in oil and gas law, in combination with a parent as a politician, has contributed to her knowledge of being an elected official. Born and raised in Midland, Texas, Christi grew up in the heat and surrounded by conservative republicans. Because of father, Tom Craddick, has been a Texas Congressman since before her parents were married, Christi was exposed to the life of a politician and the duties that comes with it. That never stopped her father from putting his family first, she says, and it was his example of family first that has inspired her to work hard but always come home to her family. Despite the time that requires her to work away from home, Christi places emphasis on time spent with her family.
Katie Hicken is student at the University of Texas at Tyler where she also shines as a top player for the collegiate golf team and serves as President of the PERIOD @ Tyler chapter. On top of her many accomplishments as a student-athlete and leader, she was also recently elected as Vice President for the UT Tyler Student Government where she made now serves in a majority-female executive cabinet. Katie has hit the ground running since being elected, leading projects dedicated specifically to alleviating financial burden on students including menstrual equity policy, accessible childcare services, and food insecurity alleviation. When tackling obstacles like these with her campus administration, Katie lives by this philosophy: “Don’t be afraid to have the tough conversations”.
Meghan Scoggins is running for Texas House of Representatives, District 28. Scoggins left the Democratic primary election victoriously with 81% of the vote and is now preparing for the general election in November, where she will face the Republican incumbent, Representative John Zerwas. The obstacles she has faced throughout the course of her life have led her to a career dedicated to advocacy, especially for issues including education, domestic violence, and consumer protections. Now, Scoggins hopes to transform these obstacles into successes through legislation, if she were to be elected.
TEDx speaker, blogger, and lifelong educator Suzanne Smith is running for Texas State Board of Education District 12, encompassing parts of Collin County and Northeast Dallas County. For Smith, this is her dream job, providing her an ability to be exposed to the world that she accredits much of her success to: public school education. Smith eventually became a teacher herself, following a family lineage of teachers and school administrators. Now, she is vying for an opportunity to serve students within the State of Texas through the capacity of an elected official, where she can transform public education spending.
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.