This editorial is part of the Dallas Morning News editorial board’s slate of recommendations for the 2022 primary. Find the full project here.
The 32nd Congressional District has become more solidly blue through redistricting. It’s now a long, oddly shaped swath where just 36% of residents are white and where Joe Biden would have beaten Donald Trump with 66% of the vote. The newly redrawn 32nd stretches just across the Collin County line into Plano, west to Addison, south through Richardson and much of East Dallas, all the way to Balch Springs in southeast Dallas County.
Republicans have a formidable task trying to win this district in November against two-term U.S. Rep. Colin Allred, who has no challengers in the March 1 Democratic primary. It will take a candidate willing to embrace a broad constituency and be a listener and a leader for everyone in this diverse district.
We believe Brad Namdar, a small-business owner and constitutional conservative with a history of civic involvement, can be that hope for GOP primary voters.
“Our strength is in our diversity,” Namdar, 33, told us of the district during an interview with five of the six Republicans running for the seat. He vows not to be “a congressman who says, ‘I will vote 100% one side or 100% the other side.’”
Namdar, born in Dallas County and the son of Iranian immigrants, grew up in Plano and has two degrees from SMU. He gave sensible, sensitive answers to questions about the border crisis, the pandemic and safeguarding elections. He also voiced a rational view of what happened at the U.S. Capitol last Jan. 6, saying he condemns all who engaged in violence or broke the law.
His questionnaire lists accolades including a President’s Service Award from the White House; serving on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Advisory Council and its Eradicate Human Trafficking Task Force; and an appointment by Gov. Greg Abbott to the OneStar Foundation, which supports nonprofits and advocates for volunteerism in Texas. Namdar also has served on the advisory board and been policy director for the Frisco-based Treasured Vessels Foundation, which provides a haven for human trafficking survivors.
Namdar firmly advocates for border security but says it must be achieved humanely. He understands achieving the American dream through legal immigration. Not only is he the son of immigrants, his wife is a native of Mexico, a fellow SMU graduate and, as of 2016, a U.S. citizen. Namdar spent time as an intern for the late U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson, who he says taught him the importance of valuing all constituents and that “to be a true statesman, you have to have a heart for helping people, which I have.” Namdar cites an endorsement from state Rep. Pete Sessions, who served 11 terms in Congress before losing to Allred in 2018.
Another candidate who impresses us is Justin Webb, a Marine and Navy veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Webb, 40, had unequivocal opinions about government incompetence and overreach, quoting President Ronald Reagan, who said, “As government expands, liberty contracts.” Webb also spoke of the need for trust-busting to break up monopolies, and we liked his clarity regarding Jan. 6, which he said his 19 years in the military leave no doubt was “an armed insurrection against this country.”
Others running in this primary are Nathan Davis, who owns a financial consulting business, and Darrell Day, a business owner who served on the Arlington City Council over three decades ago. Their stances — including that Trump won the 2020 election — put them out of step with most of the district. Also in the crowded field are Edward Okpa, a former Dallas mayoral candidate who works in real estate and economic development, and Antonio Swad, founder of Wingstop and Pizza Patron.
We feel Namdar gives 32nd District voters the GOP’s best chance at success in November.