EBJ retirement sends ripples into Texas House race

David Wilfong, NDG Contributing Writer

North Dallas Gazette

Feb 16, 2022

Just as Jasmine Crockett is leaving her position in District 100 of the Texas House of Representatives to enter a very heated race for Eddie Bernice Johnson’s seat in Washington, D.C., her vacancy has created another hotly-contested race at the state level. There are four candidates entering the Democratic Primary hoping to replace her.

(Dale Honeycutt / Unsplash)

Daniel Davis Clayton was in the running for the seat back in 2020, when he finished fourth among six candidates in the first round of voting. This followed a third place finish in the special election of 2019. His political experience includes seven years of working in the office of Texas Senator Royce West and five years with State Representative Toni Rose. He is a 17-year resident of the district, with a heavy background in volunteerism and community organizing.

Sandra Crenshaw has also been a regular contender for the office, running in several previous primaries (including a bid for District 110). Censhaw comes to the table with experience on the Dallas City Council. She last ran for that position in 2019 but did not make the runoff.Crenshaw has faced some legal troubles along the way. Campaign material for Crenshaw’s current campaign is hard to come by online.

Marquis Hawkins comes to the race with a background in education with Teach for America, he has held several professional positions and is currently a State & Local Government Affairs Advisor for Southwest Airlines. He has a history of activism for progessive causes in South Dallas. Hawkins made an unsuccessful bid for a spot on the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees in 2016. He also has an internship for U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson on his resume.

Venton Jones is a native of District 100, and comes into the race with experience as the CEO of Southern Black Policy and Advocacy Network (SBPAN), a non-profit with the mission of improving health, social, and economic conditions impacting Black communities in the U.S. South. He has served as a consultant to officials, organizations and government entities and received a White House commendation for his work in HIV advocacy.

Texas House District 113

Another race of interest in the African American community is the contest for Texas House District 113. In that race, incumbent Rhetta Andrews Bowers is facing a challenge from Uduak Nkanga.

Bowers took office after defeating Republican Jonathan Boos in the 2018 election. She flipped the district in the process, having lost to Republican Cindy Burkett only two years prior. She began her career in broadcast journalism in public television Washington D.C., moving to the commercial side of the industry upon her return to Texas.

Nkanga is a native of the district. A standout athlete, she went to college on a track scholarship before changing schools and pursuing a law degree. She has been active in numerous civic causes and is currently the President of the Dallas chapter of the National Congress of Black Women

Royce West montage