AUSTIN (KXAN) — She’s made a name for herself as a member of the Houston City Council, but this week Amanda Edwards jumped into the 2020 Texas Senate race.
Edwards, a Houston native and an attorney, hopes to be the Democratic nominee, seeking the seat currently held by Senator John Cornyn, who has represented Texas since 2002.
While Cornyn will have the incumbent advantage, Edwards says she thinks she can win.
In an interview with KXAN, Edwards addressed why she thinks she has a shot at taking down such a huge political name.
“In this instance, you have a perception that I should be an unlikely person to be successful — but what is happening in the electorate, we see that women are very, very active and engaged this election cycle. Last time, it was about a 10-point spread of women turning out higher than men.”
Edwards says she believes that while she may be less well-known than other candidates in the race — which include other politicians, in addition to a U.S. Air Force veteran — she can still stand out from the rest.
“I stand out from the pack because I am so focused on people and delivering results in their lives,” said Edwards. “That is the most essential thing that you can do to actually be a great servant leader. You’ve got to listen, you’ve got to talk to them, educate and then, let’s be educated by those residents. But most importantly, you have to deliver. People have to know that their lives will be different with you in office.”
She says that when it comes to taking on a political juggernaut, she’s taking a few lessons from fellow Texan and former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke’s very close run against Ted Cruz in 2018.
“He came within 215,000 votes of flipping the state of Texas. I think the way he was able to run a very inclusive campaign across the state of Texas was great, he worked really hard and communicated with folks, and he was authentic. Certainly, I will be an authentic candidate. The only person I can be is me.”
Edwards says she plans to run a people-centered movement, which includes her plan to expand options to health care for more people.
She says that instead of dismantling the Affordable Care Act, that it should be improved, which would include allowing people to keep their health care providers the same, keeping premiums low and adding a public option to the legislation.
While the Houstonian looks forward to representing the whole state, she continues to be proud of her time serving the Space City.
“In Houston, Harvey struck our city, among other places on the Gulf Coast… the challenge was recovery for so many Houstonians. I mobilized hundreds of people to go out, help seniors — low-income seniors with home repair — and getting them access to the resources they needed by door-to-door canvassing. And we still do that today, even.”
Edwards says that Austinites should expect to see her back in town throughout her campaign, saying that hearing from Texans about what’s important to them is important to her.
“Right now, we’re used to our Senator in that position, being some space in the abyss in Washington,” said Edwards. “How do we connect that seat to communities themselves?”