Brandon J. Vance runs against office holder Eddie Bernice Johnson
Emily Nickles, Editor-in-Chief
Not your typical graduate of TWU, Brandon J. Vance has skyward dreams and the go-get-’em attitude that just might get him there. Only 38 years old, Vance has announced his campaign as a Democratic candidate for the 30th congressional district of Texas for the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
Eddie Bernice Johnson, who is running for her 13th term at 80 years old, currently holds the 30th congressional district. The 30th district is an area of South Dallas that includes the infamous Dallas suburb, Oak Cliff, where Vance has recently purchased a home. Lancaster, Duncanville and DeSoto are cities included within the district, as well as Fair Park, Deep Ellum, Dallas Love Field Airport and the Art District near Ross Ave. Needless to say, it is a large area. Vance was a nontraditional student at TWU, serving first in the U.S. Air Force for four years, and graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Government and Legal Studies in May 2013.
Vance was employed by TWU as an admissions counselor on the Denton campus upon graduation. However, in 2015, he relocated to the Dallas campus. According to Vance, he was accepted into a graduate program at the University of Arlington Fall 2015 but declined in order to pursue a campaign for the US House of Representatives.
Vance claims: “I’ve kind of always felt I would eventually end up in politics. I would say I ran from it for a long time. In my experience here at TWU, having the opportunity to be a student leader, to fight for the students, to interact with the administration, to ask questions and challenge the status quo, really gave me that passion to fight for people, to be their voice.”
During his undergraduate, Vance was the first black male student to be elected Senate President. Vance commented upon the experience: “I felt it was literally a calling to serve the student body.”
The South Dallas area is, according to Vance, the main democratic stronghold, due to its traditional status of being impoverished, housing many low-income families. After getting involved with the Young Democrats of America in Dallas, Vance said that he began to feel like it was time to dive off the deep end, metaphorically. Rather than go back to his hometown in Louisiana, Vance dug roots in Dallas and launched his campaign in December.
Of the major issues at stake in the country and in Dallas at the moment, Vance feels drawn to education especially. He stated: “Working in higher education, I feel as though I have more of an insight to the struggle that families and people are going through…It is immigration and education together. It’s not just American families that are dealing with this, you have undocumented students, Differed Action for Childhood Arrivals students and Dream Act students who are really struggling. I believe that [it’s] incumbent Congress to find a solution to help, to expand the opportunities for everyone to get into college.”
Vance shared why he thinks that now is the time for him to shoot for a position in the House of Representatives while it is still early in his political career: “We have a new generation of voters, millennials, Generation Xs and Generation Ys that are coming out of college and coming out of university and starting their families. A lot of those people that I’ve talked to, they don’t have any connection to Representative Johnson. Many people have said they couldn’t even pick her out of a line-up. She’s done amazing things, but I think it’s time we transition to someone who can connect better with younger generations.”
Vance iterated: “Do the most good for the most people.”
His campaign mission in a nutshell, the rest of his stances on present-day issues can be found on his website, http://www.democracy.com/BrandonVance.
The congressional election will take place Nov. 6, 2016.