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More than 1,107,000 Texas Latino Voters Expected to Cast Ballots in Election 2018

March 1, 2018

 

 NALEO Educational Fund’s toll-free bilingual 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA hotline will provide
Latino voters with information on every aspect of the electoral process

 
WASHINGTON D.C. – As Latino voters prepare to head to the polls in Texas on Tuesday, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund released its November turnout projection and primary profile for the Latino electorate in the Lone Star State. 
 
NALEO Educational Fund analysis projects that more than 1,107,000 Latino voters will cast ballots in Texas’ general election, an expected increase of 1.4 percent from Election 2014.  With Latinos accounting for one in every four (25 percent) registered voters in Texas, the Latino electorate is expected to play a decisive role in the Republican-leaning state. 
 
“Latino voters and candidates are front and center in the Lone Star State elections this year,” stated Arturo Vargas, NALEO Educational Fund executive director.  “With turnout expected to reach historic heights and the state poised to potentially elect its first Latina U.S. Representative in history, the Latino community is leaving no doubt that it is the future of the nation’s second most populous state.”
 
In Texas, Election 2018 involves some of the most competitive Congressional and statewide races in the nation, particularly because several incumbent U.S. Representatives are not running for re-election.  Latinos are running in several competitive contests in the state, and depending on the outcome, Texas could see its first Latina elected to serve as U.S. Representative.  In addition, there is also a possibility that the Houston area will be represented by its first Latino in Congress.
 
Overview of Latino Electorate and Candidates in Texas Primary Profile

  • Election 2018:  More than 1,107,000 Latino voters are expected to cast ballots this November in Texas, an increase of 1.4 percent from Election 2014.

  • Voter Turnout Trends:  Latino voter turnout in Texas mid-term Congressional elections grew from 623,000 in 1998 to 1,092,000 in 2014, an increase of 75 percent.

  • Latino Electorate:  There are more than 3.7 million Latino registered voters in the state, accounting for one of every four (25 percent) Texas registered voters (as of October 2017).

  • Latino Population:  Nearly 10.9 million Latinos reside in Texas (2016), comprising 39 percent of the total population.

  • Age: Texas’ Latino registered voters tend to be younger than non-Latinos, with 18-24 year olds comprising 16 percent of registered Latinos, compared to 9 percent of non-Latinos.  In contrast, nearly half (49 percent) of non-Latino registered voters are 50 and older, compared to 36 percent of Latinos.

  • History in Houston: In the 29th Congressional District, the retirement of U.S. Rep. Gene Green (D TX-29) has attracted several Latinos to the Democratic and Republican Primaries.  If a Latino is victorious in the general election, it will be the first time the Houston area has a Latino representative in Congress.

    • Democratic Primary: Latinos running for the Democratic nomination include small business owner Dominque Michelle Garcia; attorney Roel Garcia; State Senator Sylvia Garcia; educator Hector Morales; Marine Corps veteran Augustine Reyes; and small business owner Pedro Valencia.

    • Republican Primary: Broadcast journalist Carmen Maria Montiel and business owner Jaimy Blanc are seeking the Republican nomination for this seat.

  • U.S. Senate: Incumbent U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R) is running for re-election, and does not face any serious opposition in the primary.  U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D TX-16) is the frontrunner in the Democratic primary, and if he emerges victorious, political observers believe he will be a viable contender against Senator Cruz.

  • U.S. House of Representatives: All five of Texas’ incumbent Latino members of the U.S. House of Representatives are seeking re-election, and none face serious opposition: Democrats Joaquin Castro, Henry Cuellar, Vicente Gonzalez, and Filemon Vela; and Republican Bill Flores.  Several Texas Latino candidates are running for seats vacated by current Members of Congress, including in the 16th, 21st, and 29th Congressional Districts.  Latino candidates are also among those competing in the 23rd Congressional District, which is currently represented by incumbent U.S. Rep. Will Hurd (R).

  • Governor: Incumbent Governor Greg Abbott (R) does not face serious opposition in his primary, and two Latinos are running in a crowded field of nine Democrats.  Latino Democratic candidates include Adrian Ocegueda, a principal in a private equity firm, and Lupe Valdez, former Dallas County Sheriff. 

  • Land Commissioner: Incumbent Land Commissioner George P. Bush (R) has drawn three challengers in the Republican primary, with the most competitive being Bush’s predecessor, former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson.  In the Democratic primary, attorney Miguel Suazo is the frontrunner in the bid to face the Republican victor in the general election.

As we near the Texas primary and general elections in 2018, NALEO Educational Fund will continue its efforts to ensure that Latino voters have the information necessary to make their voices heard at the ballot box.  These efforts include operating the NALEO Educational Fund toll-free bilingual hotline 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (1-888-839-8682) that provides Latino voters with information on every aspect of the electoral process, from registering to vote, to voter ID requirements, to finding their polling place.
 
For the primary elections on March 6, 2018, NALEO Educational Fund will host a live VE-Y-VOTA call center out of the Univision Studios in Houston, Texas.  The call center will be in operation from 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. CT.

 

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