EL PASO, Texas – History was made on Tuesday when Texans voted the first Latinas to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Two were elected – Veronica Escobar, a former El Paso County Judge, and Sylvia Garcia, a state senator from Houston. Both are Democrats.
Escobar won 68.29 parent of the vote in Congressional District 16, an open seat anchored in El Paso. Her Republican opponent, Rick Seeberger, picked up 26.99 percent. There were two other candidates in the race.
Garcia won 75.0 percent of the vote in Congressional District 29, an open seat anchored in Houston. Her GOP opponent, Phillip Aronoff, picked up 23.92 percent. There were two other candidates in the race.
Here are the thoughts of the two victorious candidates:
“It is an unbelievable honor to become the first Latina to represent Texas in congress, but this campaign was never about me, this is a victory of all us, and for the future of our country.
“This was a victory for working families working paycheck to paycheck who need the minimum wage raised now.
“This is a victory for seniors who depend on their social security and millennial’s buried by student debt.
“This is a victory for women who deserve their reproductive rights to be protected.
“This is a victory for equality, protecting voting rights, and our LGBTQ community.
“Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers that made tonight possible, whether you supported our campaign financially or by putting your boots on the ground. You made history tonight.
“Thank you for fighting for me, rest assured I will never stop fighting for you in Washington.”
“Last night was incredible, and while it was the end of one part of our journey, it also marked the beginning of a new one.
“In reflecting on our historic race and the work we’ve done in the last 14 months, I can’t help but wonder how I got so lucky — so lucky to be able to represent this incredible community, to have received so much love and support, and to have gotten close to so many of you along the way. Meeting wonderful, kind people like you has truly been such a privilege.
“I am happy, humbled and honored about our victory last night, and I know that the victory belongs to you. None of this would have ever been possible without you. Thank you for every contribution you made, every door you knocked on, every phone call you made, every voter you talked to, and every ounce of energy you put into our campaign. Words cannot express how grateful I am. And I want you to know that I understand your expectations, and I will work hard to exceed them.
“There’s also a lot of news to soak in from races across Texas and across the country this morning, and while I’m excited about the wins by great candidates, I’m also sad about those whose outcomes weren’t what we’d hoped for. I’m very thankful to everyone who ran.
“There’s no one more deserving of our thanks than our friend, Beto O’Rourke, who ran a historic race, one built on hope and inspiration, rooted in everything that is good about our state, our communities and our people. We owe him and Amy and their children a debt of gratitude for the tremendous sacrifices they made during this campaign.
“The fire he lit, the hopes he built are not in vain. In fact, they are the beginning of something great in our state and indeed, this country, and his leadership has taught us that when we work together, we can accomplish things that others thought impossible.
“To everyone who worked so hard on Beto’s campaign: thank you. Thank you. We need you to stay engaged and hopeful and fired up. Because again, while one journey is over, another one has begun. And friends, we’ve only just begun.
“With much love and gratitude,
Editor’s Note: The split screen image showing the two new members of Congress, Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar was created by Al Día.