by Cheryl Piccio, ABS-CBN News
SAN ANTONIO — Texas Democrats saw the strongest midterm election turnout in years, throwing several hotly contested races into the national spotlight.
West Texas District 23 stretches over 500 miles from San Antonio to El Paso to the Mexico border, and is one of Texas’ few swing districts.
Republican Incumbent Will Hurd easily defeated his opponent in the Republican primary, with 80 percent of the vote.
But in a more crowded Democrat race, Fil-Am Gina Ortiz-Jones, leads the pack, winning 41% of the vote, and forcing a runoff between Jones and the second-place candidate, Rick Trevino, who had 17.5 percent of the vote.
“When you put up candidates that are exciting and represent voters. They will show up. And when voters vote, we win,” said Ortiz-Jones.
Ortiz-Jones tells BA that she does not intend to keep a low-profile within the community, and that when she wins, she plans to get right to work.
“A member of Congress does three things — they create opportunities, they protect opportunities, and they raise opportunities. They do that with their voting record.”
Fil-am Democrats in the district told BA they are proud to see Ortiz-Jones progress further than any other Fil-Aam ever has in a Texas congressional race.
Ortiz-Jones says she hopes her example helps to create a more civically-engaged Filipino community in Texas.
“I’m not sure who said it first but if you are not at the table, you are on the menu. So, you’ve got to understand that this is not a spectator sport. That’s certainly been my motivation given the number of opportunities this country has given to me and invested in me. It’s my honor and responsibility to provide that for other folks.”
More than 30 Texas primary races are headed to a runoff on May 22nd.
While the so-called “blue wave” is making its presence felt in the Lone Star state, Republicans likewise had record turnout numbers at the polls.
Signaling that the race, will be a fight to the finish in November.