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First-term Republican Dan Crenshaw faces off against Sima Ladjevardian in Texas’ 2nd District


Sima Ladjevardian is the Democratic nominee challenging Dan Crenshaw in 2020 Michelle Watson/WireImage via Getty Images

Representative Dan Crenshaw is facing off against Democrat Sima Ladjevardian in Texas’ 2nd Congressional District.

Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL and a prominent rising star in Republican politics, is seeking a second term running against Ladjevardian, an attorney and Democratic political strategist. 

Texas’ 2nd District, located in the Houston area, heavily favors Republicans but has shown signs of trending towards Democrats in the past several cycles.

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First-term Republican Representative Dan Crenshaw is facing off against Sima Ladjevardian in Texas’ 2nd Congressional District, located in the Houston area. 

The candidates

Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL and congressional staffer, won the 2018 election to replace former Rep. Ted Poe. 

Crenshaw is a native Houstonian who served in Afghanistan as a Lieutenant Commander on SEAL Team 3 and was wounded in action in Afghanistan, losing all vision in his right eye and having his sight in his left eye severely damaged. After a tough recovery, Crenshaw completed two more deployments with the SEALs before retiring in 2016, receiving a Purple Heart and numerous other awards. 

In Congress, Crenshaw serves on the powerful House Budget and House Homeland Security Committees. He’s also a staunch conservative and ally of President Donald Trump, with his campaign platform emphasizing protecting gun rights, border security, and promoting free-market economic and healthcare policies. 

Crenshaw is widely considered a rising star in the Republican party. An adept user of social media, he boasts approximately 3.5 million followers between his Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts, is the author of “Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage,” and recently spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention. 

Ladjevardian immigrated to the United States from Iran as a child, is an attorney, breast cancer survivor, and Democratic political strategist. She worked as a Senior Advisor and the Finance Chair for former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s 2018 US Senate campaign against Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. 

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Her campaign platform highlights expanding access to affordable healthcare, including creating a public option to allow Americans to buy into Medicare, combatting climate change and protecting the Houston area from flooding, and improving the US immigration system. 

The district

Located entirely within Harris County, the 2nd district snakes around the city of Houston from the suburbs northeast of the city, including Kingwood, Humble, and Spring, and then hooks down to encompass some of the areas in western and downtown Houston, including the neighborhood where Rice University is located. 

The district has shown signs of trending towards Democrats in the past several cycles.

The district, under its current lines, voted for 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney by a margin of 27 percentage points, 63% to 36%, but voted for Trump in 2016 by a considerably smaller margin of nine points, 52% to 43%, according to the Daily Kos, making it the only Houston-area district to vote for Trump. 

And in 2018, Cruz carried the district by a margin of just one percentage point, 50% to 49%, over O’Rourke in his reelection campaign that year as Crenshaw won his first election by seven points over his Democratic opponent. 

 

The money race

Crenshaw is one of the most prolific and talented fundraisers in the House Republican caucus. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, he’s brought in $9.2 million so far this cycle, spent $5.2 million, and has $4 million cash on hand. 

Ladjevardian has raised $1.6 million, spent $1.1 million, and has $545,000 in cash on hand so far, nearly eight times less than Crenshaw. 

What some of the experts say 

The Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, and Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics all rate this race as “likely Republican.” 

Expanded Coverage Module: insider-voter-guide

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