Big political names tied to local congressional race

Jessica Puente Bradshaw

Many candidates running for office joined delegates and elected leaders at the Republican National Convention in Tampa this week, hoping to garner some support from party heavy weights.

One of those candidates is the Republican contender for newly created District 34, Jessica Puente Bradshaw.

Before her trip, she sat down with Action 4 News to talk about her goals for the convention.

"It TMs a great opportunity to build those networks and at a very basic level bring that networking tot he people down here," Puente Bradshaw said.

But it is not just networking; she also has a closer link to convention's main draw.

Her husband Jonathan Bradshaw is a third cousin of Mitt Romney, but Puente Bradshaw does not expect a shout out from him anytime soon.

"I have 11 counties to have to travel, he's got 50 states, so I'm sure he's a lot busier than we are," she said.

Still big names are not tied to just her campaign, her opponent, Democratic challenger Filemon Vela, knows that well.

"My family's public service played naturally a large role in my decision to seek public office," he said.

His father is former U.S. District Judge Filemon B. Vela Sr, whose name sits atop the Brownsville federal courthouse.

His mother Blanca Sanchez Vela is a former mayor of Brownsville.

"I hope by now people understand that with my experience and my level of commitment that on my own I will bring the kind of representation to this district that we need," Vela added.

Both candidates agreed it is not those family ties they are going up against, it is the individual candidate.

They also added that their campaigns will kick into high gear after the Labor Day weekend.

Vela will not be attending the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, and added that his campaign is in the planning stages.

Meanwhile, Puente Bradshaw said campaigning at the grassroots level will play a large part of her efforts over the next few weeks.