If Dianne Costa makes it to Capitol Hill, she will not have a learning curve to overcome. She said her real world experiences make her a "well-rounded" candidate with the qualifications and determination to make a difference at the federal level.
Last month, Costa joined a growing list of Republicans seeking election to the newly shaped United States Congressional District 25. On Tuesday, she stopped in Stephenville to introduce herself to the community - it was the second trip in as many weeks.
Costa said in her eight years as an elected official, which includes two terms as the mayor of Highland Village - a suburb of Dallas in Denton County - and a stint on the city council, she gained the experience of representing citizens on a level that demands constant accountability and transparency. Costa said if she is elected to serve at the helm of District 25, she will take those practices with her to Washington.
Costa said she can also relate to the plight of small business owners. She owns and operates a counseling and mediation service - CEMA (Counseling, Education and Mediation Associates of North Texas) and is a certified family life educator who specializes in communication, conflict management and interpersonal relationships and is also a non-attorney mediator. While it is a serious business, Costa joked that counselor and mediator is exactly the type of person who could bring positive change to national politics.
Making her way across the district, Costa is already taking on one of the greatest challenges the district has to offer - its size. District 25 encompasses all or part of 13 counties, including Erath County and stretching from Hays County south of Austin through parts of Travis County north to Johnson County. The Texas Capitol, University of Texas and Fort Hood fall within the district.
There are several facts that Costa said make her as diverse as her constituents. While she calls Highland Village home, Costa owns a large ranch within District 25, in Hamilton County. In addition, she is a Hispanic American and chairperson of the Latino National Coalition of Texas' North Texas Chapter and is part of a military family.
"I understand what farmers and ranchers are up against and know the struggles of owning a business," she said. "I have the utmost respect for our military, and I am working to educate Hispanic voters. I believe I am someone who can relate to everyone within District 25."
Costa said she embraces values she believes most people with the district can relate to.
"I bring pro life/pro family values, a strong work ethic and the necessary skill set to build consensus when making difficult decisions," Costa said. "I will never take the path of least resistance. With the empowerment of the people of Texas and of the United States, I will unashamedly fight for the people I serve."
While Costa might become the first Hispanic congresswoman to represent Texas in D.C., the idea does nothing to intimidate her.
"Washington will know when congresswoman of District 25 Dianne Costa has arrived," she said. "I will not be bullied, intimidated or discarded. It is imperative that we take control of the presidency, Senate and strengthen the House of Representatives not just in numbers but in the quality of leaders we sent to D.C."