Two Tejanas May Become First Latinas Elected to Congress from Lonestar State

Latinxs in Texas may now have two incredible women to look up to: Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia. The two Latinas from Texas may soon be making history.

Recent Texas primary election results have set the stage for two Texas Latinas to head to Congress for the first time. Veronica Escobar, a former judge from El Paso, has declared victory in her race to replace U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke, who is officially running for U.S. Senate against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. In a similar vein, State Senator Sylvia Garcia, from Houston, has possibly secured a bid for the Democratic nomination for a seat that U.S. Representative Gene Green previously held.

“This is not my victory,” Garcia said at her campaign headquarters, according to The Houston Chronicle. “This is all of our victory. This was for Latinos who for too long have sat on the political sidelines while the president sits in the White House blaming all of our problems on immigrants. We know that representation matters and that taking the first step to elect our first Latina to Congress is not just a milestone but a step for generations to come.”

Garcia beat six little-known candidates, including health care executive Tahir Javid, and has become the overwhelming favorite to win in November’s general election. Green, who has been representing this district of Houston since 1992, speaks minimal Spanish despite the population of the people who live there being 80% Hispanic, according to U.S. News. It’s unfortunate that, up until this time, this district did not have a Latino representative in Congress. But that’s all set to change thanks to Garcia. Her big message to her future constituents?

“I wanted Latino girls and boys to know this is a state of opportunity, and it’s a welcoming state,” she said, according to Remezcla.

Meanwhile, Escobar won more than 60% of the vote in U.S. Rep District 16 and will face off against Republican Rick Seeberger, who had 72.2% of his party’s vote. She plans to fight for the vulnerable, such as senior citizens, immigrants, and DREAMers if she pulls off her expected win in November.

“[I want to] make sure that Washington understands that El Paso is a place of opportunity and is part of what makes America so great,” she said toKFOX14.

Escobar is also very proud to be a woman running for political office and told The Texas Tribune that it was a long time coming.

“Timing has to be right for a lot of us,” she said, explaining that women are expected to balance their careers, motherhood, partnerships, and other responsibilities, which is why many qualified candidates’ political careers see delays. “And I think it’s even harder for women of color because fundraising is really such a huge component of running in a congressional race and many of us have limited networks.”

In even better news, not only will two Latinas possibly head to Congress come November, but at least one of them is set to be replaced by another Latina. After Garcia won the Democratic primary for an open seat in Congress, two fellow Houston Democratic women announced that they would be happy to replace her Texas state seat in Senate District 6.

“It is now likely that there will be a vacancy and I am taking this opportunity to formally announce our campaign to become the next Senator from District 6,” state Rep. Carol Alvarado said on Twitter.

State Rep. Ana Hernandez made a similar announcement the same day.

Congratulations go out to ALL of these Latina politicians in Texas. Here’s hoping things go well in November and that, ultimately, we’ll be having an even bigger celebration once they’re in Washington.




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