Congressional Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses two Texas Democrats

Congressional Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses two Texas Democrats
© Gina Ortiz Jones's Facebook

The campaign arm for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus announced its endorsements for two Texas Democrats looking to flip GOP-held House seats next year. 

Bold PAC endorsed Gina Ortiz Jones in Texas’s 23rd Congressional District and Wendy Davis in the state's 21st Congressional District, two competitive House districts that Democrats are keen on putting in their column. 

“Latinos represent 30% of the voting bloc in Texas and that percentage is growing. Mobilizing and inspiring Latino voters in Texas is the path to victory for any candidate running in the Lone Star State, but that only happens with constant outreach and engagement,” Bold PAC Chairman Tony Cárdenas said in a statement to The Hill regarding the endorsements, which have not previously been reported.

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“In Texas, candidates like Wendy Davis, Candace Valenzuela, and Gina Ortiz Jones have proven their capacity to build a coalition of support that reflects Texas’ diverse and vibrant Latino community. All three will be a force to be reckoned with,” he added, referring to Candace Valenzuela, a previous endorsee running in the 24th Congressional District.

Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, is running for the seat being vacated by Rep. Will HurdWilliam Ballard HurdJulián Castro launches PAC to support progressive candidates The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump visits a ventilator plant in a battleground state The Hill to interview Mnuchin today and many other speakers MORE (R-Texas), who was predicted to have a competitive challenge before announcing in August that he would not be seeking another term. Hurd bested Jones by just 926 votes in 2018, a margin of less than 1 percent.

The district, which stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border between San Antonio and El Paso, has flipped between Republicans and Democrats five times since the 1990s. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines The Memo: Trump lags in polls as crises press Biden savors Trump's latest attacks MORE won the district in 2016 over President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE

Jones has won over the support of other Democratic establishment groups and has flexed her fundraising muscle in the campaign thus far, hauling in $1 million in the first 100 days of her campaign and another $1 million in the third quarter of 2019. She’s running against six other Democrats in the House primary but is considered the field’s front-runner.

“Gina Ortiz Jones is an Iraq War veteran who has dedicated her career to protecting our country, both at home and abroad. As the proud daughter of a hard-working immigrant, she was raised to value the opportunities and freedoms the United States has to offer," Bold PAC said. "Now, she’s running in Texas' 23rd Congressional District to secure these opportunities, and build a better future for Texans."

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The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the race as “Lean Democratic.”

Davis, a former Texas state senator, launched her House bid in July to take on Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyHouse passes bill to grant flexibility for small business aid program The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Major space launch today; Trump feuds with Twitter House Republicans to file lawsuit to halt proxy voting MORE (R). She garnered national headlines with a 13-hour filibuster against an anti-abortion bill in the Texas legislature in 2013 and a failed gubernatorial bid in 2014. 

Democrats are also keen to flip Roy’s seat, which he won in 2018 by just 3 points. 

Davis, too, has put up strong fundraising numbers, hauling in almost $1 million in the year’s third quarter and outraising Roy in that span. She’s running against Jennie Lou Leeder in the Democratic primary.

"From her time in the Fort Worth City Council to her tenure in the Texas State Senate, Wendy Davis has relentlessly fought for Texas families," Bold PAC said. "She’s committed to ensuring that the same opportunities that helped her get ahead, like access to affordable higher education and good public schools, exist for a new generation of Texans."

The Cook Political Report rates Davis’s race as “Lean Republican.”

Beyond the two House races, Democrats are eager to make further inroads in Texas House races after a rash of GOP lawmakers from the state announced their retirements and a rising Hispanic population makes the Lone Star State friendlier territory.