2018 Democratic Candidates

U.S. Senate


Beto O’Rourke is the three-term U.S. Representative for Texas’s 16th congregational district in his native El Paso. He served on the El Paso City Council from 2005-2011. On March 31, 2017, Beto announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Ted Cruz. Representative O’Rourke is not accepting any PAC money and thus is relying on individual contributions to his campaign. He graduated from Columbia University in New York City with a B.A. in English literature. He is a co-founder of Stanton Street Technology, an internet services and software company. His website is betofortexas.com.

U.S. Representative District 21 (Precincts 339, 349,351,354,363, 365)  VOTE IN MAY 22nd RUNOFF


Joseph Kopser is a graduate of West Point, an Army veteran of 20 years, a  job creator as a tech entrepreneur in an Austin-based startup. He has a Master’s in Public  Administration from Harvard and has taken a leadership role in organizations that support veterans, education, technology and solid public policy. His website is kopserforcongress.com.  Joseph was endorsed by CCAD in April 2018.

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Mary Wilson is a progressive Democrat, a lifelong social justice advocate, a community leader,  a math teacher for over 20 years and  a minister for the last fifteen years. She is passionate about caring for people, building community, and bringing people together. Her website is electmarywilson.com.

U.S. Representative for District 25 (Precincts 302, 303, 304, 358, 360,361, 362, 366, 367) VOTE IN MAY 22 RUNOFF!


Julie Oliver is a healthcare advocate, attorney, and accountant with 20 years experience in healthcare and taxation. She was born in poverty in South Oak Cliff, relied on Medicaid as a teenage mom, put herself through college and law school with a young family, and took care of her mom as she struggled with a chronic disease for the last 15 years of her life. Julie is a community advocate and serves on the board of Central Health where she has fought for transparency and for low-income and indigent Texans. It was the GOP’s incessant attacks on healthcare, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security that led Julie to run for Congress.  Her website is https://oliver2018.com.


Chris Perri has dedicated his life to fighting for justice and freedom. He earned his law degree from the University of Texas and subsequently earned a master's degree in economics. As a criminal defense attorney for over a decade in Central Texas, he's tirelessly fought to uphold our country’s most precious cornerstone, the Constitution, by defending Texans of all backgrounds and beliefs. His website is chrisperrifortexas.com. 

Texas Governor     VOTE IN  MAY 22 RUNOFF!

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Lupe Valdez was born in San Antonio, the daughter of migrant farm workers. She attained the rank of captain in the US Army, worked as a federal agent for US Customs and Border Protection and later Homeland Security, focusing on drug and fraud cases for almost 30 years before being elected sheriff of Dallas County. She is the nation’s first openly gay female Hispanic sheriff and oversaw the second largest county jail in Texas. She earned a BA degree in Business Administration and a MA in Criminology and criminal justice from UT at Arlington. Her website is www.lupevaldez.com.

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Andrew White of Houston is president of Sweat Equity Partners, L.P., an investment firm. He is the son of Mark White, a Democrat who was Texas governor from 1983 to 1987. White also is a founder and president of  HomeTool, a company that connects homeowners and contractors; Sweat Energy Services, which cleans oil storage tanks; and Geovox Security, Inc., which provides heartbeat detection technology. He was a founder of Allied Warranty and Lone Star Repair, selling those to NRG Energy in 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin’s Red McCombs School of Business. His website is www.andrewwhite.com.

Texas Lt. Governor

Mike Collier

Mike Collier has an MBA from the University of Texas and has served as CFO of a successful Texas oil company and as an auditor and partner providing due diligence, structuring and valuation services to some of PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ largest clients. In 2016, he ran for Texas Comptroller. He is currently a senior advisor to Duff & Phelps, LLC. He has served as the Texas Democratic Party finance chair. His issues include: public education, school finance and tax reform, access to affordable health care, funding of women’s health programs, climate change, and redistricting.  Check out his website at collierfortexas.com.

Texas Attorney General


Justin Nelson, of Austin, is a partner specializing in major civil litigation at the Houston law firm Susman Godfrey, LLP. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, he clerked for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Harvie Wilkinson, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. He has been named among the “World’s Leading Patent Practitioners” by Intellectual Asset Management magazine and a Texas Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters.  He has served as chair of the Economics of the Profession Committee in the American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Division and is Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He has practiced and taught constitutional law, and is an adjunct professor at The University of Texas School of Law. He is the founder and former president of One Nation One Vote, a group that is pushing to elect the president by popular vote.  His website is www.nelsonfortexas.com.


Joi Chevalier

Joi Chevalier is founder and CEO of the Cook’s Nook in Austin, a culinary incubator providing shared production space and business development for Austin-area artisans, caterers and cooks at early stages of their careers. Previously, she was a manager for Dell Computer Corporation beginning in 2006 and became senior product manager and strategist from 2009 to 2015. She is an honors graduate of the Culinary Arts Program in Austin and she has a MA from University of Texas at Austin. Her website is www.joifortexas.com.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner


Kim Olson of Mineral Wells served 25 years in the U.S. military and rose to the rank of Colonel. She served in the Pentagon on the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense. She was CEO/President of Grace After Fire, a Texas-based nonprofit dedicated to helping women veterans. After retiring from the military in 2005, she entered the field of public education and became the Director of Human Resources for the Dallas Independent School District in 2007. Ms. Olson has a Natural-Organic Certification from the Texas Organic Research Center and is a Texas master gardener. She is committed to sustainable Eco-Agriculture, provides training on growing healthy food and lectures on small-scale farming. Her website is kimolson4txag.com.

Land Commissioner

Miguel Suazo

Miguel Suazo, an Austin energy and natural resources attorney, is the managing partner of Suazo Legal Group which has locations in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. His firm focuses on compliance with regulations enforced by the Texas Railroad Commission, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, US Bureau of Land Management, EPA and US Department of the Interior. After college at Georgetown University, he worked in DC and New Mexico as an aide to US Senator Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. He earned his law degree from the University of New Mexico and then helped biotechnology companies understand policy and regulations of the US Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and Defense and the EPA. His website is https://www.facebook.com/MiguelSuazoForTXLandCommissioner/.

Railroad Commission


Roman McAllen of Denton is on the board of Preservation Texas, the statewide organization dedicated to advocating for the historic resources of Texas. Previously, he worked for the City of Brownsville in planning and historic preservation while servingon the Cameron County Crime Stoppers Board. A native of Houston, he is a graduate of the UT Austin with a MA in Architecture. His website is www.mcallenfortexas.com.

Texas Senate District 25

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Steven Kling of Dripping Springs joined the Army Reserve in 2004 and received the Bronze Star, the Joint Service Commendation Medal and Combat Action Badge during his 11 years of distinguished service. He is a businessman who specializes in business development, sales, marketing and community management, conflict management, civil-military relations and software architecture. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University. The following issues are the bedrock of his campaign: supporting veterans, restoring local control, healthcare, and education.  His website is klingfortexas.com. Steve received the endorsement of Circle C Area Democrats. 

Texas House Representative District 47         VOTE IN MAY 22 RUNOFF!


Elaina Fowler has been Executive Director of AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) Texas Retirees since June 2016. She served as chief of staff for State Rep. Helen Giddings of Dallas from 2013-2017. She is a graduate of Wesleyan College in Georgia, has been a regional organizer for the Texas American Federation of Teachers and executive director and business strategy consultant for Truth in Medicine. Her website is www.fowlerfortexas.com. Elaina was endorsed by CCAD in April 2018.


Vikki Goodwin is broker/owner of Goodwin & Goodwin Real Estate. She has served on two HOA boards, served on the grant review committee for Impact Austin and co-chaired the AISD Strategic Plan Task Force. Ms. Goodwin has a B.A. degree in business administration from the University of Texas and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Her website is vikki4txhouse.com.

Travis County 331st District Court Judge

Chantal Eldridge

Chantal Eldridge is a private practice attorney in Austin who specializes in criminal law and has defended felony and misdemeanor criminal defendants in Travis, Williamson, Caldwell and Hays Counties and juvenile defendants in Travis and Williamson Counties. She has been licensed to practice law in California, Tennessee, and Texas. She received her BA in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Santa Clara School of Law in 1989. She clerked iwth Judge William Ingram, Chief Judge of the Northern District of California. Her website is www.chantal4judge.com. Chantal was endorsed by Circle C Area Democrats. 

Travis County 419th District Court


Catherine Mauzy is a partner in the Mauzy & Tucker, PLLC law firm and a graduate of the University of texas School of Law. She has been Board Certified in Family Law since 1998, is a member of the Austin Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, Travis County Family Law Advocates, Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists, and the Collaborative Law Institute. She received the 2011 Litigation Attorney Award from the Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association. She does not have a campaign website.

Travis County 459th District Court Judge   VOTE IN MAY 22 RUNOFF!


Maya Guerra Gamble is a trial lawyer with over twenty years of experience who specializes in Child Protective Services. She previously worked at the U.S. Department of Justice. She is a graduate of Yale Law School. Ms. Gamble has received many professional honors, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Law Enforcement Award, the Texas Attorney General’ Merit Award, the U.S. Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service. Her website is MayaGuerraGamble.com. Maya was endorsed by CCAD in 4/18.


Aurora Martinez Jones is an appointed associate judge in Travis County for the Civil District Courts with a focus on child welfare, Family Drug Treatment and Permanent Managing Conservatorship. She is a Child Welfare Law Specialist, is on the Children’s Justince Act Task Force, a board member of both the Travis County Women Lawyers Foundation and the Girls Empowerment Network Austin,  and a past president of the Austin Black Lawyers Association. Ms. Jones is a graduate of the University of Texas Law School and has her own firm, The Martinez Jones Law Firm, PLLC. Her website is www.auroramartinezjones.com.

Travis County 403rd District Court

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Brenda Kennedy has served as judge of the 403rd District Court since 2002. Previously, she served as judge of County Court at Law #7 from 1987-2002 and as assistant district attorney for Travis County. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the UT School of Law and interned at the Department of Justice in Washington DC. She does not have a campaign website.

County Court at Law No. 3

John Lipscombe

John Lipscombe has served as the presiding judge of the County Court at Law No. 3 since January 2011. He is a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law and was a prosecutor for the Travis County Attorney in misdemeanor courts for 19 years. He is a regular lecturer for the UT Law School Criminal Defense Clinic and the Prosecution Clinic, the Austin Bar Association, the Austin Police Department and many other agencies. His website is www.johnforjudge.com. John received the endorsement of Circle C Area Democrats.

County Court at Law No. 5


Judge Nancy Hohengarten has served as the presiding judge at Travis County’s Court at Law No. 5 since 2004. She practiced civil litigation in the Texas Attorney General’s Office, served eight years with the Travis County District Attorney’s Office and had a private criminal defense practice before she became the judge. She serves on the Behavioral Health Advisory Committee and the Psychiatric Stakeholder Services Committee and served as the first board chair of the Austin/Travis County Sobriety Center. Her website is www.judgehohengarten.com. Nancy received the endorsement of Circle C Area Democrats.

Travis County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3


Sylvia Holmes is  Associate Director for UT’s Legal Services for Students who has over 10 years of experience in small claims and misdemeanor criminal law.  She previously served as Attorney for Students at Texas State University, was president of the University Student Legal Services Association-Western Region and National Legal Aid Defender Association-Student Legal Services. She holds a BA in Business Administration from University of Texas at Austin and a JD from the University of Alabama School of Law. She is a member of the Austin Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Austin Bar Association, Texas State Employees Union, AFL-CIO, Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans and the Texas Women Lawyers Association. Her website is sylviaforjp3.com.

Travis County Democratic Party Chair


Dyana Limon-Mercado is Deputy Director of Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, a statewide advocacy organization that engages supporters of women’s health to fight to protect and expand women’s access to preventative and reproductive care, including abortion. Previously, she was statewide public affairs coordinator for Texas Affiliates of Planned Parenthood from 2011-2014 and communications assistant for the Texas Medical Association from 2010-2011. She has also been field organizer  and deputy field director for two HD Democratic candidates in 2010. She holds a BA in Business Administration in International Business from Texas State University and a MBA from the University of Texas in San Antonio. The TCDP’s website is www.traviscountydemocrats.org.

© Circle C Area Democrats 2017