Monday, June 11, 2012

Texas Politics: It's about time to challenge GOP with 1st Hispanic Party Chair

From The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Texas Democrats elected the first Hispanic to the state chairman's position Saturday, a move indicating the party aims to play a greater role in the Republican-dominated state.

Delegates overwhelmingly chose Gilberto Hinojosa to lead the party for the next two years on the final day of the state convention in Houston. Hinojosa is a former judge, county party leader and member of the Democratic National Committee. He is replacing Boyd Richie, who has led the party since 2006.

The native of the South Texas town of Mission takes over a party that has not won a statewide election since 1994 and does not control either chamber of the Texas Legislature. But the state's evolving demographics favor Democrats, with non-Hispanic whites now making up less than 50 percent of the population. In the 2010 election, more than 85 percent of minorities voted Democratic.

"We as a party need to realize that there are more of us than there are of them," Hinojosa said. "We believe that everyone in this great state deserves an equal chance ... and we can only do that if we win elections."

Hinojosa, 59, also said Democrats need to begin believing they can win elections and stop allowing Republicans to define them as unpatriotic.

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