Historic National Day For Latino Voters In Texas

Ciro Rodriguez Defeats Seven-Term Congressman, Henry Bonilla in District 23 Runoff.

Contact: Javier Dominguez
(202) 833-6130 ext. 14

Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens hailed the election of Ciro Rodriguez over seven-term incumbent Henry Bonilla in the District 23 special runoff election as proof that the Voting Rights Act is still an effective tool in ensuring that minority communities can elect the candidate of their choice.

By an overwhelming margin, Latinos came out to vote and their vote was decisive. “Hispanics in District 23 were able to elect their candidate. This was our goal from the beginning,” said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. “Over one-hundred thousand Latinos were wrongfully removed from their district three years ago by the Delay redistricting plan.”

“The results in Texas demonstrate the growing political influence of our community in all parts of the country,” said Luis Vera LULAC National General Counsel. “Latinos voted in record numbers during this year's midterm elections and as we continue to grow in numbers, we will remain a dominant force in American politics for generations to come."

In June, LULAC spearheaded the historic LULAC vs. Perry Supreme Court decision. The verdict rejected the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature’s decision to redraw the state’s congressional districts in 2003, which had intentionally removed the Latino voting power out of the district.

The Supreme Court’s decision to redraw the district map cemented Latino voting power and increased Latino voting population of the district to 61%. LULAC had also challenged the State of Texas to negotiate and allow more time for voters to cast their ballots. The district was granted three extra days of early voting and an additional three hours to vote each day.

Bonilla’s defeat signifies another blow to the contingency of congressmen that supported the Secure Fence Act, which extends a wall for seven hundred miles at an estimated cost of $2-7 billion. Bonilla voted in favor of the wall in September.

The League of United Latin American Citizens, the oldest and largest Latino membership organization in the country, advances the economic conditions, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

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