Election 2020

In Long-Shot Bid, Democrats Hope Sima Ladjevardian Can Unseat Dan Crenshaw

The race has garnered national attention from Democrats, but is a “likely Republican” win.

Sima Ladjevardian, left, is running against U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw.

As national Democrats look to flip the U.S. House of Representatives this election season, they’re hoping to take down a high-profile congressman in a race seen as a longshot by some political onlookers.

U.S. Rep Dan Crenshaw, a Republican freshman, is facing a challenge from Democrat Sima Ladjevardian in Texas Congressional District 2.

In 2018, Crenshaw won 52.8% of the vote to replace retiring Republican incumbent Rep. Ted Poe in an unusually shaped district that includes disparate areas of the Houston region including Kingwood, Spring, and the Rice University area.

Map of the Houston area with Texas Congressional District 2 shaded in yellow.

While 52% of the district's vote went for Donald Trump in 2016, and the Cook Political Report rates the seat as a "likely Republican" win, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has named the district as one to target this cycle.

Ladjevardian, an attorney and activist, won her primary after Navy veteran Elisa Cardnell dropped out of the runoff election.

Her campaign has focused on issues like health care, gun violence and climate change. She supports expanding the Affordable Care Act and lowering prescription drug costs, a national paid family leave policy, and prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL with a master's degree from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, received national attention for his appearance on Saturday Night Live in 2018.

In his campaign, Crenshaw has prioritized issues like border security, Second Amendment rights, and disaster recovery and flood mitigation.

He supports lowering prescription drug costs, while opposing both the Affordable Care Act and Medicare for All.

The two have also sparred over the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ladjevardian has accused Crenshaw of not taking the virus seriously, and a group of more than 100 doctors have circulated a letter accusing Crenshaw of spreading misinformation about the coronavirus.

Crenshaw has defended himself by saying he has distributed 50,000 masks in Houston — though he himself has not always worn a mask in public.

Additional reporting by Andrew Schneider

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