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Claudia Andreana Zapata wins Democratic nomination for U.S. House District 21

Zapata came out on top with the most votes against Ricardo Villarreal. She will now face Republican incumbent Chip Roy in November.

AUSTIN, Texas — Claudia Andreana Zapata won the Democratic primary runoff election for the U.S. House District 21 race.

Zapata was in the runoff against Ricardo Villarreal and won with 61% of the vote, as of 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Villarreal came in behind Zapata with 39% of the vote. Zapata also received the most votes in the March 1 primary election with 47.2% of the votes. Villarreal trailed behind her with 27.3% of the vote in the March election, from a field of six candidates.

Zapata will now face Republican incumbent Chip Roy in the November election. Roy won his primary election on March 1 with 83% of the vote. The two will be on the ballot in the fall to see who will represent Texas’ 21st Congressional District, which includes parts of Austin and the Hill Country and stretches down to San Antonio.

According to her campaign website, Zapata is looking to address issues such as access to food and grocery stores, health care in rural Central Texas, improving schools and protecting the environment. Zapata supports increasing the minimum wage, health care for all and developing affordable housing.

She was raised in South and East Austin, Kyle and Mission, down in South Texas. Zapata is an active member of the Bexar County Young Democrats, Hays County Democratic Party and a handful of Hays County and Austin organizations.

The candidate graduated with a bachelor’s in philosophy with a focus on political philosophy and government from the University of Texas at Austin. Her previous work in government includes time as a legislative intern with Texas House District 46 and four years at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

“One thing I have learned in my life is that the people who are closest to the problems are closest to the solutions,” Zapata states on the homepage of her campaign website. “The 21st district deserves to have a member of Congress who reflects the people impacted by public policy.”

Zapata has been endorsed by Texas AFL-CIO, a state federation of labor unions representing 235,000 members in Texas.

Zapata will now face incumbent Chip Roy in November. Roy won his primary race by a wide margin as the candidate behind him secured about 8% of the vote. In the November 2020 election, Roy won reelection against former Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis.

Most recently, Roy made headlines after CNN released a report containing text messages following the 2020 election between him, former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Utah Sen. Mike Lee. The messages show how they lobbied and encouraged White House efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Roy previously fell short in his bid to become the third-ranking House Republican a year ago, when Republicans stripped Rep. Liz Cheney of her leadership position for her criticism of former President Donald Trump. House Republicans instead overwhelmingly supported Roy’s rival, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, according to a report by The Texas Tribune. In that instance, Trump endorsed Stefanik and released a scathing comment directed at Roy.

Before being elected as a U.S. representative, Roy was involved in Texas Republican politics as a staffer for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxon.

District 21 voters will now choose between Zapata and Roy in the general election on Nov. 8.

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