Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Nearly 175 Years After Joining the Union, Texas is Sending Two Latinas to Congress for the First Time

Posted By on Wed, Nov 7, 2018 at 12:49 PM

  • Twitter / Veronica Escobar
It's 2018, and Texas is finally sending its first Latina to Congress. Ahem, make that two Latinas.

Though the blue wave may not have flipped Texas politics, two Democrats made history Tuesday night as they became the first-ever Latinas to represent Texas in the U.S. House. To put the milestone into context, the Lone Star State, which is roughly 40 percent Hispanic, has sent 300 representatives to Congress since Texas joined the union nearly 175 years ago.

Veronica Escobar, a former El Paso County Judge, and Sylvia Garcia, a state senator from Houston, both defeated their Republican opponents.

In her race, Escobar secured 68.2 percent of the vote (122,676) over Republican Rick Seeberger with 27 percent (48,495). As for Garcia, she won 75.1 percent of the vote (87,679), beating out Republican Phillip Aronoff, who had 23.9 percent (27,945).

"It's never been about being a first," Garcia said during her victory speech Tuesday night. "It's always been about being the best."

Escobar will represent Texas' Congressional District 16, a seat currently held by Beto O'Rourke. O'Rourke gave up his seat in his bid to unseat Ted Cruz in the U.S. Senate race in Texas. Garcia, meanwhile, will leave her place in the state senate after six years to replace Gene Green, a retiring Democrat who held the seat since 1992, in Congressional District 29.

"We’re living in an era under the Trump administration that is targeting communities like mine," Escobar said. "During such a tumultuous time I think it’s beautiful that it’s the border that’s making history."

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