Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia might be making history. Results from the Texas primary election has set the stage for the possibility of two of the state’s Democratic Latinas to head to Congress for the first time. Former El Paso Judge Veronica Escobar declared victory Tuesday in her race to replace US Representative Beto O’Rourke, who is officially running for US Senate against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz. Meanwhile, State Sen. Sylvia Garcia of Houston secured her bid for the Democratic nomination for a seat that US Representative Gene Green formerly held.
Not only will the two potentially become the first Texas Latinas headed to Congress, they’d also become among the first class of incoming female politicians elected to full terms in Congress in 22 years. Other women from both parties are expected to join Escobar and Garcia in the fall.
Escobar told the Texas Tribune that this step is a long time coming, and that because women are expected to balance their professional lives with motherhood, partnerships, and other responsibilities, qualified candidates’ political careers have seen delays.
“Timing has to be right for a lot of us. 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,” Escobar said.
She took an easy lead for US Rep District 16 with more than 60 percent of the vote. She’ll face off against Republic Rick Seeberger, who led with 72.2 percent in his party’s vote. Escobar pledges to fight for the vulnerable, senior citizens, immigrants, and DREAMers. “[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 told KFOX14.
Garcia previously ran against Green in 1992 but lost. This time around, he endorsed her campaign. She edged out six opponents without a runoff and is expected to “cruise into Congress.” If she wins, she’ll successfully deliver one message across the state: “I wanted Latino girls and boys to know this is a state of opportunity, and it’s a welcoming state.”