A naval battle just might be on the horizon in one of Houston’s most competitive Congressional districts.

Navy veteran and science teacher Elisa Cardnell, a Democrat, has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to challenge newly-elected U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Houston Republican who is a former Navy SEAL.

Cardnell said she has been considering running for Congress for more than a month. In January, she told her social media followers she was getting ready for the race.

“Before 2016, I tried to stay out of politics, especially since as a member of the military I viewed my role as necessarily nonpartisan — at least in public life,” Cardnell said. “But now I feel that I have to do something, and my entire career of serving my country and my community has led me to this point.”

She announced her intentions on Twitter:

The 32-year-old Cardnell, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Rice University, spent 5 years on active duty in the Navy and nearly 6 years in the Navy reserves.

While on active duty, she rose to the rank of lieutenant, serving as an anti-submarine warfare officer and an officer in charge of port operations in Yorktown.

Cardnell said after leaving the Navy reserves last year, she started looking for other ways to serve the country.

Crenshaw, a retired lieutenant commander spent 10 years in the Navy SEALS that included tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Crenshaw nearly lost his vision when an IED blast in Afghanistanput him into a coma for five days.

He survived but lost his right eye.

Crenshaw, 34, was elected in November to a two-year term in the 2nd Congressional District, which runs from portions of West Houston north to the Montgomery County border, and includes Atascocita and Humble.

Crenshaw defeated Democrat Todd Litton, 53 percent to 46 percent.

Crenshaw has fast become a budding star in the GOP. He’s made appearances on various national Fox News Channel shows every week since he got elected.

He filed paperwork for his re-election campaign with the FEC on Dec. 5, 2018.

Cardnell is the only challenger to emerge so far.

While the district has been considered safe Republican territory for years, Democrats have spied trends they believe has the district shifting more towards them.

In 2012, then-Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney won 60 percent of the vote in the areas within the 2nd Congressional District.

But four years later, Donald Trump won just 52 percent in the district, which has seen increasing diversity and a growth in college-educated voters, two demographics that favor Democrats.

 

Attribution:Houston Chronicle
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