Huge Democratic turnout in the Texas primaries, with lead for Fil-Am Gina Ortiz Jones in district 23
by Cheryl Piccio, ABS-CBN News
HOUSTON, TX — Democrats are enthusiastic this election year in Texas, and have set their sights on the historically deep-red Congressional districts.
A hotly contested Governor’s race and several pivotal congressional races, voters in Houston and across Texas had a lot to consider in the 2018 primary elections.
As the first primary under the Donald Trump administration, Democrats in the Republican stronghold are banking on anti-Trump sentiment and the state’s changing demographics to swing things in their favor.
“I think that if you look at the surge and the new cycles now, I mean Democrats are voting in the thousands, it has never happened like this before,” said Nelvin Adriatico. “And I think this is an indication of what is going to happen in November, I really hope this state actually turns blue. It is about time.”
Fil-Am Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, advanced to the Democratic run-off in her bid for Congressional District 23, an area which stretches from San Antonio to the Mexico border.
She led Tuesday nights race with 41% of the vote. If elected, Ortiz Jones would be the first Filipino and the first openly gay Congresswoman of color from Texas.
The renewed energy is beginning to worry Republicans in the state.
At a recent GOP event, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz warned that Republicans “could get obliterated at the polls.”
“Most of the people here are into Oil, business, and are very conservative. The only time we can change that is when we start electing different officials,” said voter Rolando Zuleta. “When we vote for an elected official, they should reflect your values, and the people in there now, do not reflect my values.”
“If you really care for this country, and care about what’s happening in this country, your vote should speak for itself.”
Texas is notorious for having some of the lowest voter turnout in the country. But this year, the state’s Democrats have doubled early voting turnout numbers compared to the 2014 midterms, and have already beat turnout numbers from the 2016 Presidential election.
There are Democratic candidates running in all of the state’s 36 congressional districts for the first time in 25 years. Democrats are making a big play in the historically red state of Texas.