Latino Victory Fund Endorses Four Latina Leaders Ahead of May 24 Primary Runoff Election in Texas

Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the May 24 primary runoff elections in Texas, Latino Victory Fund announced that it endorsed four Latina candidates. The candidates are Cassandra “Cas” Garcia Hernandez, candidate for Texas House District 70; Lina Hidalgo, reelection candidate for Harris County judge; Ina Minjarez, candidate for Bexar County judge; and Celia Israel, candidate for Austin mayor. 

The slate includes three potentially historic races: Garcia Hernandez would be the first Latina to represent House District 70, Minjarez would be the first Latina Bexar County judge, and Israel would be the first Latina and first openly LGBTQ mayor of Austin. Latino Victory endorsed Hidalgo in her first race for Harris County judge when she became the first Latina to be elected to that position in 2018. Garcia Hernandez and Minjarez are running in the May 24 primary election runoff, and Hidalgo and Israel are running in the November general election. 

Nathalie Rayes, Latino Victory Fund president & CEO, released the following statement:

“We’re proud to support Representative Israel, Representative Minjarez, Judge Hidalgo, and Cassandra because they’re seasoned community leaders who advocate for progressive values critical to moving Texas forward. Their priority policy issues are vital for the Latino community and will enhance the quality of life for all Texans, including improving the state’s education system, expanding health care access, growing economic opportunity, and protecting voting rights.

“In a state where Latinos are 40 percent of the population and 30 percent of the state’s eligible voters, it’s imperative to support these dynamic, strong candidates to mobilize Latinos to turn out to vote. Latino voter mobilization will be key for Democrats running up and down the ballot in the midterms—and these candidates have what it takes to inspire and energize Latinos. They’re running historic races that will grow Latina representation in the Texas government and break barriers in powerful seats where no Latina has been elected before. Candidates like Judge Hidalgo, Rep. Israel, Cassandra, and Rep. Minjarez can change the game for Latinas and women in Texas politics, and Latino Victory is proud to contribute to this positive change.” 

Meet the Candidates: 

Cassandra Garcia Hernandez 

  • Garcia Hernandez was raised by her single teenage mother and grandparents. She was exposed to the world of justice at a young age and learned to help others. Thanks to great public school education, she excelled and obtained a business and a law degree. 
  • She is a trial and immigration attorney who helps families fulfill their American Dream and volunteers her time and legal knowledge to serve domestic violence shelters, families facing eviction, and Texas veterans. 
  • As an ethics commissioner for the City of Dallas, Garcia Hernandez held elected officials accountable for their decisions on behalf of voters and has vowed to do the same as the representative for District 70. 
  • Garcia Hernandez has pledged to voters that she will fight for a world-class public education, healthcare access for all, and great jobs with competitive wages.
  • For more information on Garcia Hernandez, click HERE

Lina Hidalgo

  • Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is a previously Latino Victory endorsed candidate. Judge Hidalgo has become a prominent voice in Texas politics and nationally. She was born in Colombia, and when she was a child, her family moved to Peru and Mexico before emigrating to Texas in 2005, ultimately settling in Katy, Texas. 
  • Hidalgo graduated from Stanford University with a degree in political science, and in the same year, she became a U.S. citizen. While pursuing a joint master of public policy and Juris Doctorate at Harvard and NYU, Hidalgo worked across civil society groups and the government to conduct research and advocate for policy change. 
  • Currently, she represents Harris County, which includes Houston, as the county judge managing the 4th-largest county in the country and an approximate budget of $5 billion. 
  • Judge Hidalgo’s top priorities include flood prevention, early childhood education, voter protection, advocating for a modern transportation system, and expanding green spaces. 
  • For more information on Judge Hidalgo, click  HERE

Ina Minjarez

  • Minjarez is a lawyer who was elected to represent San Antonio’s House District 124 in the Texas House of Representatives in a special election in 2015 and 2018. She also served as Bexar County assistant district attorney from 2000 to 2006. 
  • She grew up in El Paso, Texas. Her mother was a cafeteria worker, and her father worked in the concrete business and was a U.S Army veteran. They worked hard to send their two daughters to medical school and law school. 
  • Minjarez honored her parents’ work and sacrifice by becoming an attorney, prosecutor, and advocate for victims, then serving seven years as a State Representative with powerful committee assignments, including Appropriations, Transportation, and Urban Affairs. 
  • Minjarez’s priority issues as Bexar County judge candidate include property taxes and housing affordability, jobs and economic development, community health and safety. 
  • For more information on Minjarez, click HERE

Celia Israel 

  • Israel has served four terms in the Texas House of Representatives for House District 50 in Northern Travis County. During her time in the legislature, she has been a known champion for voting rights, transportation safety, and the LGBTQIA+ community. 
  • A native Texan, Israel moved to Austin in the summer of 1982 at 17 years old to attend the University of Texas at Austin. 
  • Israel first served in Governor Ann Richards’ administration. She has served her community on numerous nonprofit boards centered on equity issues and the City of Austin, serving on the Environmental Board, the Police Monitor Board, the 2011 Bond Advisory Commission, and the Robert Mueller Advisory Commission.
  • She is a founding member of the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus. Israel was named “Freshman of the Year” during her first term in the legislature. Since then, she has been honored by organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, Progress Texas, Texas Democratic Women, and the Capital Area Progressive Democrats. 
  • Israel was inducted into the Austin Women’s Hall of Fame in 2018.
  • As a mayoral candidate, her top priority issues include housing affordability, public health and safety, and transit and mobility. 
  • For more information on Israel, click HERE.

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The Latino Victory Fund is a progressive political action committee with the mission of growing Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government – from the school board to the Senate to the White House.

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