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Congressional Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses two Texas Democrats

Gina Ortiz Jones's Facebook
Gina Ortiz Jones (left) and Wendy Davis pose for a photo together on Nov. 9, 2017. The two women are running for congressional seats in Texas’ 2020 election.

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.

“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 Hurd (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 Clinton won the district in 2016 over President Trump. 

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.”

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 Roy (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.

Tags Chip Roy Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Texas's 23rd congressional district Tony Cardenas United States House of Representatives elections in Texas Will Hurd
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