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Rochelle Garza clinched the Democratic nomination for Texas attorney general Tuesday, according to Decision Desk HQ, and will run for the job in November’s general election.
Garza is a former American Civil Liberties Union lawyer from Brownsville. She defeated Joe Jaworski, the former mayor of Galveston.
Garza will face the Republican nominee in the November general election — Ken Paxton, the incumbent attorney general who on Tuesday beat Land Commissioner George P. Bush in the Republican primary runoff. A Democrat has not filled the seat since 1994.
In a statement, Garza said acknowledged the horrific shooting of schoolchildren and others in Uvalde County that took place on election day before saying that she was turning her attention to defeating Paxton.
“Today is a sober reminder of why we need new leadership in Texas. I am deeply saddened by the news from Uvalde today. As a new mom and a Texan, my heart breaks for the children, teachers and their families,” she said.
“I decided to run for Texas Attorney General to fight for Texas families, protect our freedoms and keep our communities safe. Indicted Ken Paxton is corrupt and unfit to hold public office and cares more about lobbyists and donors than the lives of our children.”
Garza emerged from the crowded March primary with 43% of the vote among Democratic voters. Jaworski came in second place with 20%.
Garza’s bid for attorney general is her first race, but she has been in the political spotlight against Republican leaders before. As an attorney, she sued the Trump administration in 2017 to get abortion access for an undocumented teenager held in detention. Garza also testified in 2018 against the U.S. Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who ruled against granting the teen access to an abortion as an appellate court judge.
If she wins in November, Garza would be the first Latina attorney general in Texas. She previously said in an interview with The Texas Tribune that she was able to build a coalition of voters because Latino and female voters see themselves represented in her campaign.
Ahead of the primary runoffs, Garza had the backing of national abortion rights and Hispanic groups such as NARAL Pro-Choice America, EMILY’s List and Latino Victory. Jaworski, meanwhile, was endorsed by prominent politicians like state Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, and former U.S. Rep. Gene Green.
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