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Democrats Zapata and Villarreal faceoff in primary runoff for U.S. District 21

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Ricardo Villarreal and Claudia Zapata are the Democratic primary runoff candidates for Congressional District 21.
Photos courtesy of both campaigns.
Ricardo Villarreal and Claudia Zapata are the Democratic primary runoff candidates for Congressional District 21.

Two Texans , Ricardo Villarreal and Claudia Zapata, will face off in the Democratic primary runoff in a few weeks.

The candidates will vie for U.S. District 21, which was redrawn in 2021. In the Texas 21st Congressional Primary election, Zapata came away with 47.2% of the votes while Villareal had 27.3% of the votes.

Villareal was raised in Laredo. He is a physician and the son of an immigrant farmer. He attendedBerkeley's Goldman School of Public Policyand has worked with Marked by Covid, a grassroots organization led by those impacted by COVID-19, for his capstone degree. He also served as an army officer and is a supporter of the ALS Act. Villareal’s platform promises to form a COVID-19 recovery plan, provide assistance for immigrants, border security, access to health insurance, affordable housing, mental health for veterans, and local equitable and sustainable jobs.

Zapata was raised in Kyle County and Mission, Texas. She was raised by a teacher. She is a former treasurer of the Del Valle Community Coalition Non-Profit, a member of the Austin Latino Coalition, and an active member of Bexar County Young Democrats. She has volunteered with providing disaster relief after the Texas snowstorm Uri with Del Valle Community Coalition.Zapata’s platform promises to increase minimum wage, fight for affordable housing, a clean environment, provide universal healthcare, and expand access to food in stores.

Early voting for the runoffs runs from May 16 through May 20. The 2022 primary runoff elections are May 24. The winner of the Democratic primary runoff will face Chip Roy in the November general election.


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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, May 11.

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