Texas holds primary elections with more Latino voters and candidates

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One in four voters in Texas is Latino.

Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Primary election voting ends Tuesday in Texas, where the first primary races of the 2022 electoral cycle are held in the United States.

Texans were able to vote early from February 14-25, and some were eligible to mail in their ballots.

The primary contests will set the stage for several key races on the Texas ballot this year, including The Lone Star State Governor and Attorney General Elections.

Tuesday’s primary is the first election to be held under the new Texas election law, which made significant changes to voting procedures in the state.

Texans were able to vote early from February 14-25, and some were eligible to mail in their ballots.

Top Republican leaders across the state face re-election challenges from other Republicans, while congressional and state legislative candidates face political maps redrawn to favor the Republican Party in the state.

Texas, which won two congressional districts in redistricting, It will be a focal point for the two main parties in their fight for control of Congress on November 8.

More Latino voters in Texas

Texas celebrates its primaries with one in four voters of Latino origin and a rise in Hispanic political hopefuls, including a progressive lawyer who again challenges Democratic Congressman Henry Cuéllar, an institution in an important district bordering Mexico.

Republicans and Democrats are trying to win over the Hispanic vote in a state with several close districts and some 4.2 million registered Latinos, according to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).

It is also a vote for qualify the work of some officials seeking re-election, starting with Republican Governor Greg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Congressman Henry Cuellar, a political leader in Laredo considered a conservative Democrat.

electoral radicalization

To Pomona College Professor of History and Latino Studies Miguel Tinker Salas, the primaries in Texas will be marked by the “hyperpolarization” that exists in United States politics. A trend in which Latinos are included.

“There is an important sector, especially in South Texas, that has turned to Trump, and that can affect this election,” the professor stressed.

He added that the situation also occurs on the Democratic side. An example is the primary for District 28, represented by Henry Cuéllar, who is facing immigration attorney Jessica Cisneros and another Latina, Tannya Benavides, affiliated with the No Border Wall and Clean Air Laredo coalitions.

Cisneros had already challenged Cuéllar in 2020, who won the primary by about 4 percentage points.

But the balance this year could change after the FBI investigation of Cuéllar related to business between US businessmen and Azerbaijan.

And more Latino candidates

On the Republican side seven candidates ran for the conservative primary for District 28, four of them Hispanics; a sign that more Latino candidates are being encouraged to enter the political scene.

Democrat John Lira, who wants to represent District 23, currently in the hands of Republican Tony Gonzales, assured that an important part of his campaign is based on the fact that he is Latino. “This is a majority Hispanic district, I am a fourth generation Texan, and I am connected to the culture and needs of this district,” she says proudly.

Lira, who is running against Priscilla Golden for the Democratic primary, warns that he is already prepared to contest the race against the Republican winner, and change the rhetoric on immigration raised by Gonzales, who is facing two candidates, both of whom are Latina.

In addition, the Hispanic seeks to focus on protecting the rural areas of the district that shares nearly 100 miles with Mexico.

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– They sue Texas for reducing the Latino vote in their new electoral maps

– The Texas Senate passes one of the most restrictive voting rights laws in the US.

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