WAXAHACHIE, Texas — Krystal Valdez has given out hundreds of signs. She campaigned for 14 months.
It paid off on election day. She made history as Ellis County's first Hispanic county clerk. At age 36, she is also the county's youngest elected official.
"This is historic for Ellis County," she said. "We've come a long way all over, not just here, but all over the nation."
Women won big on election day, breaking barriers and making headlines from New Mexico to Minnesota.
Valdez worked hard to get here. She became a single mom and at age 18, and put her dreams of college on hold. "I didn't get to go to college right away. As soon as I graduated high school, I started working so I could support my son, and college happened about 10 years later," said Valdez.
She put herself through college, working a full-time job. After earning her degree, she started working at the Ellis County courthouse as a deputy clerk. Nine years later, she has been elected county clerk. "If you're willing to put in the work, you can do anything," she said.
That's her message for young Hispanic women in Ellis County or anyone with a dream. "They feel like there's not an opportunity for them or they feel like the cards are stacked against them, and I want to show them that anything is possible," said Valdez.
She says, she couldn't have done it without family, including her husband and two kids.
While a lot of people know Ellis County for its Czech and German roots, Valdez said there is a large Hispanic population in Ellis County, too. She is a South Texas native and sixth generation Texan who has lived in Ellis County for over two decades.
Krystal hopes to bring new technology to the county clerk's office. She is resting this weekend after a long campaign and will resume as court coordinator for Ellis County Judge Jim Chapman next week.
She begins as county clerk January 1.