Dayna Steele is running as a Democrat in an area that has been Republican for a couple of decades. But she isn’t backing down from a challenge to incumbent District 36 U.S. Representative Brian Babin. After all, she use to water ski with alligators.
She told the skiing story Thursday as she had a fried fish lunch at Bluebird Fish Camp along Little Cypress Bayou in Orange. Steele wants to learn about every bit of the large district that goes from Seabrook in Harris County up through East Texas, including Orange County.
The trip to Orange included looking for a place to open a campaign office in preparation of the November election, checking in with friends like Henry Lowe, and visiting media. She was shaking hands and would not turn down an individual donation. “I’m not taking any corporate money,” she said.
The 58-year-old Steele is a Houston native who has lived in Seabrook for years. She has a varied career that started with radio. In Houston, her days as a DJ earned her the name “The First Lady of Rock” and a spot in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. She is also a business entrepreneur, the author of eight books, and an inspirational speaker.
Her husband is Dr. Charles Justiz, a former NASA pilot and a first generation Cuban-American. They have three sons and a daughter-in-law.
Four years ago, Steele started giving laptop computers to “students strapped to poverty.” The experience, she said, helped her “learn about the inequities and inequality in health care, in education, in wages, and even in job opportunities in this area.”
When she looked to support a political candidate for Congress who could help work to alleviate the problems, she discovered that her incumbent congressman had not had an opponent. Somebody needed to run against him, she said.
“That’s not democracy. That’s not what our Founding Fathers intended and that candidate ended up to be me.”
-Margaret Toal, KOGT-