Former GOP mayor who claimed there was Sharia law in DFW now running for Congress
Image: Irving TX Mayor Beth Van Duyne talks to reporters (Screen capture)

On Monday, Texas Republicans got a familiar recruit for the now-open 24th Congressional District — Beth Van Duyne.

Van Duyne, a conservative firebrand, previously served as the mayor of Irving, a city in the northern portion of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. She grabbed national attention in 2015 by defending her police department's decision to arrest a teenage Muslim boy for demonstrating a homemade clock at a school science fair, saying, "To the best of my knowledge, they followed protocol for investigating whether this was an attempt to bring a Hoax Bomb to a school campus."

She also spent her tenure as mayor trying to root out Islamic civil dispute tribunals in her city as a plot to impose Sharia law on Texas — and successfully persuaded the city council to pass a non-binding resolution calling on the Texas legislature to ban Muslims from setting up such panels statewide, even though Christian and Jewish groups have operated similar entities for years.

Texas' 24th District is currently represented by Rep. Kenny Marchant, a Republican who only barely won re-election last year to his suburban North Texas district, despite national Democrats paying little attention to the race. With Democrats amassing a large bench of prospective candidates to take another crack at it, Marchant announced on Monday that he will not seek re-election — the latest in a growing list of GOP Texas congressmen who are retiring next year.