Texas poised to send Latina to Congress for first time

By Susan McFarlandUPI

The state of Texas appears to be poised to send a Latina representative to Washington, D.C., this fall — for the first time — following Tuesday night’s statewide elections.

Texas Sen. Sylvia Garcia of Houston and former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar were officially nominated as the Democratic candidates for two open House seats that are considered locks for the party in November.

Garcia, 67, won her bid for the Democratic nomination in District 29 to replace U.S. Rep. Gene Green, also a Democrat. A runoff will determine the Republican nominee.

At her post-election party, she said the victory is not just hers.

“This is all of our victory,” she said.

“I wanted Latino girls and boys to know this is a state of opportunity and it’s a welcoming state,” Garcia added. “You have to work hard and believe in yourself and you can do it.”

A tweet posted by Garcia after her win Tuesday thanked her team for a “progressive movement proved that people speak louder than money.”

Escobar, 48, is vying in District 16 to replace U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who won a bid Tuesday to try and unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz in November.

After claiming her nomination, Escobar said the results are humbling, especially after facing so many obstacles such as fundraising, which is a huge component and challenging for those with limited networks.

“I think many of us have gotten to the point where we say forget the obstacles, we just got to get this done,” Escobar said. “There’s just too much at stake.”

Escobar also sent a thank you tweet to supporters, thanking the city of El Paso for their votes.

Another first could take a Texas seat if a runoff election in San Antonio is won. Filipina-American Lawyer Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, would be the first openly lesbian veteran in Congress.