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Eye on Politics: Sen. Nathan Johnson faces challenge from state Rep. Victoria Neave Criado

Eye on Politics: Sen. Nathan Johnson faces challenge from state Rep. Victoria Neave Criado
Eye on Politics: Sen. Nathan Johnson faces challenge from state Rep. Victoria Neave Criado 21:05
  • Two Democrats duke it out for a Texas Senate seat in Dallas County. 
  • Gov. Abbott responds to talk among some Texas Republicans that he's a potential VP pick for former President Donald Trump. 
  • And we take a look at the races for the three open congressional seats in North Texas.

Jack Fink covers these stories and more in the latest edition of Eye on Politics (original air date: Feb. 25).

Democratic primary for Texas Senate District 16

As early voting continues through next Friday, we are following a hotly contested race in the heart of Dallas County: The Democratic primary for Texas Senate District 16.   

State Rep. Victoria Neave Criado is challenging incumbent State Sen. Nathan Johnson, who has held the seat since 2019.

"If you want results, if you want the kind of things we all depend on for government, I have a proven track record of delivering things the community needs," Johnson said. "Over the course of my three sessions, I've passed nearly 100 bills."

Victoria Neave Criado said she's giving up her safe House seat to run for Senate because of what she believes she brings to the table: 

"I'm the daughter of an immigrant dad. I was born and raised here in Dallas and want to take our fight from the House to the Senate," Neave Criado said. 

Johnson's top priorities include education, improving access to healthcare, and increasing the reliability of the state's power grid.

Neave Criado's top priorities also include education and also issues that disproportionately impact women such as domestic violence.

Democrats are in the minority in the Texas Senate, and both candidates say they have to work across the aisle on some issues and fight back against Republicans on major bills and the direction of the state.

"We have a $2 trillion economy and 30 million people," Johnson said. "I am not going to let the Republicans run all of that. I'm going to be involved in all these major issues and we have to realize we can't do it ourselves."

Neave Criado said that includes a variety of issues. 

"When it comes to issues that impact our right to choose, when it comes to issues that impact diversity, supporting communities of color, when it comes to gun reform, raising the age to purchase an assault rifle, attack on our LGBTQ community, we cannot accept that," she said.

Watch interviews with both candidates below:

One-on-One with Texas Sen. Nathan Johnson/D-Dallas, District 16 17:54

One-on-One with Texas Rep. Victoria Neave Criado 18:21

VP Greg Abbott?

With former President Donald Trump comfortably ahead in the GOP primary polls here in Texas and across the country, Republicans are already talking about potential running mates for him. 

Gov. Greg Abbott's name came up Wednesday as he campaigned for three Republican state representatives from Collin County in the upcoming March 5 primary.

After the event, Jack asked Abbott about this and he said his focus is on Texas:

"I could have run for national office if I wanted to, but I didn't want to," he said. "I've already thought about running for reelection again and I can tell you from the people talking to me here today, taking pictures with me today, same thing I hear every day, Governor please stay in Texas, please run again. That's what I hear every day from my fellow Texans and that's what I intend to do."

Capitol Hill Vacancies

It's not often a congressional seat opens in North Texas, but this year is a rarity in politics: There are three open Congressional seats in our region: 

One is in the 12th Congressional District in parts of Tarrant and Parker Counties, where Republican Kay Granger is retiring at the end of the year after what will be 28 years of serving in Congress.

CBS News Texas

There's also the 26th Congressional District in portions of Tarrant, Denton and Wise Counties and all of Cooke County, where Republican Dr. Michael Burgess has served since 2003.

CBS News Texas

And finally, the 32nd Congressional District in parts of Dallas and Collin counties, where Democrat Colin Allred first entered office in 2019. 

CBS News Texas

We spoke with SMU political science professor Matthew Wilson about the coming changes. Watch his analysis in the video player at the top of this page.

Every week, CBS News Texas political reporter Jack Fink breaks down some of the biggest political stories grabbing headlines in North Texas and beyond. Watch the latest episode of Eye on Politics in the video player above and watch new episodes every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. on air and online.

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