Over 24 years in office, Rep. Dukes went from ‘relentless’ to absent


A serious car wreck, felony corruption charges and pressure to resign from members of her own party were not enough to end the two-decade political career of state Rep. Dawnna Dukes.

But Dukes was eventually done in by growing discontent from her constituents, who voted resoundingly in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for new leadership in House District 46 amid concern that Dukes had lost her way after early success in the Texas House.

The defeat appears to put a bow on the political career of Dukes, a 12-term legislator who came into office at age 30 as the successor to her boss, state Rep. Wilhelmina Delco. A lifelong Austinite, Dukes advocated for children’s rights and pushed for affordable housing. She has served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee for nearly 15 years. She initiated a project to clean up Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and launched the African American Community Heritage Festival.

“It was important for her success that she was a native Austinite,” Delco said. “That was a big benefit to her as a state representative. I also thought she was an effective state representative.”

For more on Dukes’ 24-year career as a legislator, her legacy, and her loss in Tuesday’s primary, visit MyStatesman.com



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