Veronica Escobar

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Veronica Escobar
Veronica Escobar official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 16th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byBeto O'Rourke
County Judge of El Paso County
In office
January 1, 2011 – October 10, 2017
Preceded byAnthony Cobos
Succeeded byRuben Vogt
Personal details
Born (1969-09-15) September 15, 1969 (age 49)
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Michael Pleters
Children2
EducationUniversity of Texas at El Paso (BA)
New York University (MA)
WebsiteHouse website

Veronica Escobar (born September 15, 1969) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Texas's 16th congressional district, based in El Paso. A member of the Democratic Party, Escobar previously served as a County Commissioner and County Judge for El Paso County from 2010 to 2017.

Early life and education[edit]

Escobar is a native of El Paso, Texas, where she was born in 1969.[1] She grew up near her family's dairy farm with her parents and four brothers.[2] Escobar attended Loretto Academy and Burges High School, before getting her bachelor's degree at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and her master's degree from New York University.[3]

Early political career[edit]

Escobar worked as a nonprofit executive and as Raymond Caballero's communications director when he was mayor of El Paso.[4] When Caballero failed to get reelected, Escobar—along with Susie Byrd, attorney Steve Ortega, and businessman Beto O'Rourke—considered entering public service, and started to discuss grassroots strategies with the goals of improving urban planning, creating a more diversified economy with more highly skilled jobs, and ending systemic corruption among city leadership.[5] She was elected as a county commissioner for El Paso County in 2006 and as El Paso County Judge in 2010.[4] O’Rourke, Byrd, and Ortega also all ran for office and won; they came to be collectively referred to as "The Progressives."[5]

She also taught English and Chicano literature at UTEP and El Paso Community College.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Escobar resigned from office in August 2017 to run full-time in the 2018 election to succeed Beto O'Rourke in the United States House of Representatives for Texas's 16th congressional district.[6] As the district is a solidly Democratic, majority-Hispanic district, whoever won the Democratic primary would be heavily favored in November.[2] She won the six-way Democratic primary with 61 percent of the vote.[7]

In June 2018, Escobar (along with O'Rourke) led protests in Tornillo, Texas, of the Trump administration family separation policy that involved the separation of children of immigrant families. The city is just miles from the Rio Grande, the river that forms the border of the United States and Mexico in the state of Texas.[8] The Trump administration had created a "tent-city" in Tornillo, where separated children were being held without their parents. O'Rourke called this practice "un-American" and the responsibility of all Americans.[9]

Escobar won the general election on November 6, defeating Republican Rick Seeberger. She became the first woman to represent the 16th. With her victory, Escobar and Sylvia Garcia became the first Latina congresswomen from Texas.[4][10][11] Although the 16th has long since become a majority-Hispanic district, Escobar is only the second Hispanic ever to represent it, the first being O'Rourke's predecessor, Silvestre Reyes.

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Escobar and her husband, Michael Pleters, have two children.[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perks, Ashley (November 15, 2018). "Texas New Members 2019". TheHill. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Bassett, Laura (September 8, 2017). "Meet The Woman Who Could Be Texas' First Latina In Congress". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  3. ^ "County Judge Veronica Escobar | Q&A". elpasoinc.com. December 12, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Veronica Escobar is closer to making House history in Texas". Elpasotimes.com. March 9, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Benson, Eric (January 2018). "What Makes Beto Run?/Does Beto O'Rourke Stand a Chance Against Ted Cruz?". Texas Monthly. pp. 78–108.
  6. ^ SVITEK, PATRICK (August 25, 2017). "El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar begins campaign for Congress". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX District 16 - D Primary Race - Mar 06, 2018". Our Campaigns. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  8. ^ Aguilar, Julian; Garcia Hernandez, Juan Luis (June 17, 2018). "Beto O'Rourke, Veronica Escobar lead Father's Day march on tent city housing separated immigrant children". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  9. ^ González, María Cortés (June 17, 2018). "Beto O'Rourke leads Tornillo protest against separation of immigrant families". El Paso Times.
  10. ^ Flores, Aileen B. (March 12, 2018). "Veronica Escobar on path to make Latina, Texas history after Congress primary victory". KHOU. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  11. ^ "Veronica Escobar, Sylvia Garcia win, will be first Texas Latinas in Congress". Nbcnews.com. Retrieved November 12, 2018.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Beto O'Rourke
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 16th congressional district

2019–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Antonio Delgado
United States Representatives by seniority
365th
Succeeded by
Abby Finkenauer