Francine Ly never thought she would run for office. But here she is today, a candidate for state senate. The Signal caught up with Ly to discuss her run.
“Running for public office was never on my radar until now,” says Ly. The first-time candidate is running in Senate District 12, which is being vacated by retiring Republican Jane Nelson. Redistricting altered the district to include a portion of north Dallas, as well as parts of Denton, Tarrant, and Wise County. She will face state Representative Tan Parker in the November election.
Ly, who was born in Cambodia but was raised in Dallas, has been a longtime activist in the Democratic Party. She has been active with several organizations, including the North Texas Chapter of the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) and the AAPI Democratic Caucus of Texas.
As she’s been talking with people in the district, Ly has observed several topics that potential constituents mention, namely education, infrastructure, the power grid and funding being taken from the district. “That’s what contacting voters is all about, getting the feel and understanding what their needs are,” says Ly.
Ly has also talked with a number of voters who are conservatives that are disappointed with the current Republican Party, and the policies they have undertaken this past session. Even though the district is Republican-leaning, Ly believes that it’s winnable with a candidate that can appeal broadly.
“I know it’s an uphill battle, but I’m no quitter,” she says. Ly is also an expert in perseverance. As a court coordinator for Dale Tillery, the presiding judge of the 134th Civil District Court, she’s seen a lot over the past two years. “It was very rough!”