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The candidate Verónica Escobar during a speech in the Texas primary elections. Photo courtesy of her campaign.
Candidate Veronica Escobar during a speech in the Texas primary elections. (Photo courtesy of her campaign)

Meet Veronica Escobar, the Latina who will make history in Texas

Veronica Escobar, former county judge and candidate for the 16th Congressional District in El Paso, is a living example of the Latino force in American…

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Anyone who thinks of South Texas will automatically imagine the heart of American conservatism, where diversity and progressive thought are, for the most part, simply unimaginable.

But this year's primary elections have shown that, among so many generalizations, there is a powerful reality that is tired of leaving its destiny in the hands of traditional politics.

We are obviously talking about people of color, immigrants and women, three communities that have had to face the racism, misogyny, and classism of a White House that seems to only recognize the white man as the “true American.”

That is why campaigns like those of Judge Veronica Escobar have come to light, promising to be a milestone in the country's political history.

"This really is a critical juncture in American history for all of us," the candidate said in an interview with NBC. "Not only Latinos but women, African-Americans, the LGBTQ community. We’re at such a significant crossroads that it's almost too much to comprehend. It’s a dark time in American politics. We’re living with a government that is literally working against our communities."

In a state where Latinos represent 40 percent of the population and whose border has been part of the media war of the Trump administration, Escobar has emerged as a candidate for U.S. Congress nowhere else but in the border county of El Paso.

With a background in education and in the exercise of law, Escobar became involved in politics for the first time in 1996 through political activism, as ELLE reports.

"I never stopped working for candidates since then," she recalls. "I've knocked on tens of thousands of doors in El Paso in 20 years."

In this way, Escobar collaborated with campaigns such as those of Raymond Caballero for mayor in 2001 before being elected as county commissioner in 2006 and serving two terms as a judge in the county in 2010.

Escobar resigned her position in August 2017 to fully turn to her campaign to replace Beto O'Rourke in the House of Representatives for the 16th District of Texas.

In March, Escobar won the nomination with 61 percent of the vote and, considering that her district is deeply Democratic, it is quite likely that she will become the first Latina congresswoman in Texas after the midterm elections in November.

Through a campaign platform based on the progressive model of Bernie Sanders, Escobar joins the wave of candidates that personify minorities in the country and advocate a single-payer health care system, tuition-free college education, and abortion rights.

Furthermore, Escobar said that the challenge now is to get all citizens who really want a change in the country to vote "in record-breaking numbers.”

"For Latino candidates, the challenge is energizing our voters to turn out," she told NBC. "It’s on us to make them understand how important their vote is, especially because right now the only place their voices count is the ballot box. We must rise up and must turn out in record-breaking numbers. We are a force to be reckoned with.”

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