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TCU 360

Social media influencer, former Miss Texas running for GOP seat in Texas House

Miss+Texas+2022+Averie+Bishop+pauses+on+the+red+carpet+during+the+Miss+America+competition+at+the+Mohegan+Sun+casino%2C+in+Uncasville%2C+Conn.%2C+Thursday%2C+Dec.+15%2C+2022.+%28AP+Photo%2FSteven+Senne%29
Miss Texas 2022 Averie Bishop pauses on the red carpet during the Miss America competition at the Mohegan Sun casino, in Uncasville, Conn., Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Averie Bishop, a social media influencer and former Miss Texas, is running for a Texas House seat in a historically Republican congressional district. 

Bishop is running as a Democrat in State House District 112, a congressional district located in northeast Dallas County that includes Garland, Mesquite, Rowlett, Wylie and parts of North Dallas. She is challenging incumbent State Rep. Angie Chen Button, a Republican from Richardson. 

If elected, Bishop said she would become the first Filipino American to serve in the Texas House of Representatives.

A map of District 112. Bishop is running in this district to unseat incumbent state Rep. Angie Button, R – Richardson. (Texas Legislature)

In a discussion with TCU students over Zoom, hosted by Ignite (formerly known as Ignite – Women in Politics) and Kappa Lambda Delta, Bishop shared insight into her childhood experiences and how they served as motivation for a future political career.  

“I decided to run for office because I knew when I was young that I wanted to see someone like me in a position like governor or president,” Bishop said. “I decided to stop waiting around for someone to be that person I wanted to see.”

The 26-year-old state congressional candidate said she became interested in politics and advocacy during her undergraduate studies at SMU, following the 2016 presidential election. 

“I just knew from that presidential election, regardless of your political affiliation, we needed more young women running for office,” Bishop said. 

Bishop said that her family’s financial struggles also encouraged her to run for office, hoping to help other families avoid the same struggle. 

“Both of my parents worked two jobs each,” Bishop said. “We experienced housing insecurity, food insecurity and faced foreclosures and evictions during the 2008 housing crisis. None of my parents graduated from college. That financial insecurity, combined with the way that I looked and felt underrepresented in school and government, were all things that made me feel like I wasn’t enough and couldn’t aspire to do great things.”

Students ask Averie Bishop questions during a Zoom discussion with TCU students. (Abby McCutchan/Staff Writer)

Throughout the discussion, Bishop emphasized the need for policies that support reproductive freedoms and diversity and inclusion efforts. As a former member of Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson’s Anti-Hate Advisory Council, she sought to establish guidelines for the city and its police department to address an increase in hate crimes. 

“If I don’t win at the end of the day, it’s just about increasing transparency and visibility,” Bishop said. “By increasing transparency through social media, pulling back that curtain and showcasing the barriers and challenges I’m experiencing running for office, and also increasing visibility by simply existing by running, we can build up that trust again necessary for democracy to work in the way it was intended to.”

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