Watch this Texas mom's inspiring, viral campaign video. She's making history — again.

M.J. Hegar has thrived in the face of adversity her entire life.

The 42-year-old Air Force veteran is also an author, wife, and mother. And now she's trying to win in a Texas congressional district that to date has never elected a Democrat.

In late June, Hegar released a campaign video entitled "Doors," which highlighted her life story and her fight against sexism in the military. She won a historic legal fight that overturned the Direct Combat Definition and Assignment Rule that prevented military women from serving in a number of roles.


The video quickly went viral and has been viewed more than 5 million times across Hegar's YouTube and Facebook channels. That's quite impressive for a political ad in a small Texas congressional district, but it wasn’t expected to affect the actual campaign.

And then the donations started pouring in.

Hegar has outraised her Republican opponent by a wide margin, which shows how much her message is resonating.

On July 16, new fundraising numbers were released by the Federal Elections Commission, and the results were stunning: Hegar outraised her opponent, Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) by more than 4 to 1, with $1,171,373 compared to his $266,889.

"The thousands of people who are supporting our campaign show that it is time to show the door to politicians who care more about campaign donors and political parties than protecting our country," she said.

Hegar says that when she tried to meet with Carter to discuss her military reform initiative, his office refused, saying she wasn't a priority because she wasn't a campaign contributor.

Carter's team has denied the claim, but it clearly resonated with donors, who gave her campaign more than $750,000 in just the first 10 days after her video was released.

She still faces an uphill battle — but that's never stopped her before.

Carter is still considered a 10-point favorite according to election forecasters, but that's a big change from 2016 when he won his election by nearly 22 points. And as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and others have proven, 2018 is a year primed for historic upsets.

"A lot of people across the country feel like they have absent representation and that their voices are not being heard," Hegar said in a recent interview.

It's a message that's resonating with people, even deep in the heart of red-state Texas.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

A young boy tried to grab the Pope's skull cap

A boy of about 10-years-old with a mental disability stole the show at Pope Francis' weekly general audience on Wednesday at the Vatican auditorium. In front of an audience of thousands the boy walked past security and onto the stage while priests delivered prayers and introductory speeches.

The boy, later identified as Paolo, Jr., greeted the pope by shaking his hand and when it was clear that he had no intention of leaving, the pontiff asked Monsignor Leonardo Sapienza, the head of protocol, to let the boy borrow his chair.

The boy's activity on the stage was clearly a breach of Vatican protocol but Pope Francis didn't seem to be bothered one bit. He looked at the child with a sense of joy and wasn't even disturbed when he repeatedly motioned that he wanted to remove his skull cap.

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