2023 ELECTION WATCH: Texas & Delaware

Run for Something
Run for Something
Published in
8 min readMay 5


Things are heating up in Texas and Run for Something is excited to share 10 endorsed candidates who will appear on the ballot next week in the Lone Star State and Delaware! Take a look and see if any of them are in your neighborhood and sign up to volunteer to help Get Out The Vote this weekend.



Bently Paiz

City Council, District 5, New Braunfels, TX

Bently is a fifth-generation resident of New Braunfels. He is running to improve his community and better the lives of residents. Bently, along with many in his family, grew up in Comal Town (a historic district in New Braunfels), where his family worked extremely hard to get by with very little to show for.

At 18 years old, he started in electoral politics early, working on multiple campaigns and giving his time to community service to help others. His commitment to New Braunfels residents is unmatched, and he will work tirelessly to bring affordable housing, accessible public transportation, and so much more to the community.

Denishea Williams

School Board, Place 5, Cedar Hill, TX

Denishea is a wife, mother, community leader, entrepreneur, and lifetime Girl Scout with a passion for special needs and public education, family values, and community engagement. She has spent most of her life serving others and finds great joy in educating and empowering individuals and families to live their best lives.

After realizing that life is more than the 40+ hour rat race, Denishea sought a path to greater health and happiness. She has a heart for women and mothers of color who are seeking a new way to live their best lives, as well as kids of all ages and stages of life.

Sophia Saenz

Mayor, South Houston, TX

Sophia is an experienced leader, educator, and community advocate with a strong academic background. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Houston Baptist University, a master’s degree from The University of St. Thomas, and a certification in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from the University of South Florida. Sophia has been teaching in Title I public schools for the past 10 years and is currently the Asst. Choir Director at South Houston High School, her alma mater. She is a voice for the residents of South Houston and a founding member of the South Houston First community organization.

Sophia is passionate about public education, equity, public safety, technology, and community advancement. She is a skilled public speaker and is dedicated to serving working-class families by fighting for fair wages, workplace protections, and dignity at work. Sophia’s moral character is based on the principles of integrity, reliability, honesty, courage, and justice.

As a dedicated leader, Sophia is committed to the prosperity and elevation of the City of South Houston. She is uniquely qualified to be the first Latina Mayor of South Houston due to her decade of servant leadership providing her students and their families with the necessary tools to succeed. Her experience, passion, and dedication make her an excellent choice for this important position.

Tara Maldonado-Wilson

City Council, District 11, Forth Worth, TX

Tara is a business owner and a nurse who served on the frontlines of the pandemic. She is a native Texan and a mother of three who is running to represent Fort Worth’s newly drawn District 11 on the city council. Tara’s commitment to servant leadership is rooted in her belief that the constituents of this new minority opportunity district deserve to be represented by someone who understands their perspective. As a representative of neighborhoods that have been overlooked for decades, she is eager to listen to the community’s concerns.

Tara’s motivation to run for office stems from her frustration with how the city council addressed the concerns of the community following the death of Atatiana Jefferson. She found her voice standing for justice and accountability and is committed to representing and fighting for the people of District 11. Tara wants to ensure that District 11, which has historically been disenfranchised or overlooked, has a strong voice.

She’s a proud Latina from humble roots who pursued education and committed herself to giving back to the community, Tara is the right person for the job. She is dedicated to advocating for fair treatment, representation, and equality for all residents of District 11. Her experience in business, healthcare, and as a mother gives her a unique perspective that she will bring to the council. Tara is passionate about creating positive change in her community and is ready to serve the people of District 11 with honesty, integrity, and hard work.

Shannon Probe,

City Council, Place 1, Round Rock, TX

Shannon, an educator, advocate, and community leader, currently focuses on being an at-home parent, alongside her spouse Austin, two young children, and rescue dog Charlie. With a background as a secondary Spanish teacher and Department Head, she has a long history of public education advocacy. After leaving the classroom, she connected with grassroots community organizations to improve equity within Round Rock ISD. Shannon is actively engaged in groups such as Anti-Racists Coming Together, Access Education RRISD, El Amistad Club of Round Rock, and RRISD’s Parent Teacher Association.

As a recent graduate of the City of Round Rock UniverCity program, she has a deep understanding of the city’s operations, goals, and structures that make it run. Native to Central Texas, Shannon is passionate about community engagement and wants to make sure that everyone in Round Rock has a voice. She is eager to serve her community in an effort to embrace equitable and sustainable growth while organizing enriching activities for her young family in the excellent Round Rock community.

Albert Mata

City Council, District 1, Dallas, TX

Albert, a third-generation Oak Cliff resident, is running for Dallas City Council to represent District 1. His family has been rooted in Oak Cliff since the 1970s, and Albert likes to say he was born on the banks of the Arkikosa River (Trinity).

Albert is a dedicated community leader and volunteer at Molina High School, his alma mater. As a co-founder of Somos Tejas, a civic engagement group, he led efforts in Dallas County to provide COVID-19 education and ran door-to-door operations to promote participation in the 2020 Census. Additionally, he was involved with the West Oak Cliff Coalition, where he contributed to the formation of the Automotive Association of Oak Cliff and continues to support the group in advocating for locally-owned small businesses.

Albert is committed to increasing civic participation in neighborhoods that have been historically marginalized and under-engaged. He believes that every community in District 1 deserves the same level of engagement and support. Albert works as a data engineering consultant and holds a BBA in Finance from the University of Texas at Austin, class of 2016. If elected, Albert will bring his passion for community engagement and advocacy to the Dallas City Council to ensure that District 1 has strong representation.

Jalen McKee-Rodriguez

City Council, District 2, San Antonio, TX

Jalen is a former high school math teacher and was elected to serve District 2 of San Antonio in 2021. He serves as a fierce advocate for equitable investment in his city’s infrastructure. He increased focus on the social determinants of health, advocated for accountability and transparency in city operations, and re-imagined public safety to prevent crime. When elected, Jalen became the first openly-gay man elected to the San Antonio City Council and the first openly-gay Black man elected to any seat in Texas.

Jalen has brought a fiery (and colorful) brand of advocacy to the council, where he has successfully advocated for a street lighting index paired with record funding, a change to the city’s Equity Funding Formula, hired a Civil Rights Coordinator, added additional resources for Animal Care Services, and provided funding for home repair and housing assistance programs. His work on these issues has garnered the attention of public figures like Taraji P. Henson and Nicki Minaj.

In 2021, Jalen was ranked #71 on The Root’s annual list of 100 influential African-Americans. In 2022, he was voted San Antonio Magazine’s Best Politician in the publication’s annual “Best of SA” compilation and Best Community Activist in SA Current’s annual “Best of San Antonio” list.

Jalen and his husband Nathan have two cats and a dog: Cairo, Rome, and London. Jalen is a certified math teacher (grades 4–8 and 7–12), licensed bartender, and Zumba®️ instructor.

Simon Salinas

Plano ISD School Board, Place 7, Plano, TX

Simon is a recent graduate of Plano ISD and a current substitute teacher who holds an Associate’s degree in General Studies and a Political Science certification from Collin College. While in high school, he served on the Diversity Advisory Committee for Plano ISD, where he advocated for the diverse communities he represents, and earned four healthcare-related certifications. Simon has been planning his campaign for two years and even knocked on doors during his high school lunch period. He has also volunteered on multiple congressional, federal, and local campaigns.

Simon’s motivation for running stems from his experiences as a student during the COVID-19 pandemic. He witnessed decisions being made that impacted him, his classmates, and his teachers, and felt that their voices were not being heard. As a member of Gen Z, Simon brings a unique perspective to the School Board that has not been represented before. He is passionate about giving a voice to those who have been underrepresented and ensuring that every student, regardless of background, has access to a high-quality education.

With his background as a substitute teacher and his advocacy work, Simon has a deep understanding of the challenges facing students and educators in Plano ISD. He is committed to ensuring that every student has a safe and inclusive learning environment, expanding access to educational opportunities, and promoting equity across the district. Simon believes that by bringing a new perspective and fresh ideas to the School Board, he can help create positive change in Plano ISD.

Emmanuel Guerrero

City Council, District C, Pasadena, TX

Emmanuel, a first-generation college graduate and eldest son of five, grew up in a working-class family where he learned the importance of education and hard work. He is an active volunteer and has served on various boards, including the Association of Latinos Professionals For America (ALPFA), the Harris County Appraisal Review Board, national scholarship committees, and as an alumni mentor for students at the University of Houston Main Campus and Downtown. With a background in skilled labor jobs, healthcare access, and quality education, Emmanuel is committed to ensuring that all Pasadena residents, students, and small businesses have access to the same opportunities for success. He puts people first and is dedicated to working for the city and community.


Jose Matthews

Red Clay Consolidated School District, District D, Wilmington, DE

Jose has been a dedicated representative for District D on the Red Clay School Board since 2018. He has been actively advocating for resources and support for students in need, expanding the rights of marginalized students, and guiding the District through the pandemic while making Board meetings more accessible to the public.

If re-elected, Jose’s first priority will be to ensure the passage of a referendum, which will provide funding for necessary programs and building maintenance in schools. Additionally, he plans to increase parent and family engagement in schools to enhance student success. Lastly, he aims to improve salaries and working conditions for educators to tackle the teacher shortage issue.

Aside from his work as a board member, Jose is a community liaison for Rockford Center, where he ensures that the mental health needs of the community are being met. He resides in Elsmere with his husband, Michael, who is a teacher.



Run for Something
Run for Something

Recruiting & supporting young people running for office. Building a Democratic bench. Want to help? hello@runforsomething.net