For the past 18 months, the Republican Party of Texas, in partnership with the Republican National Committee, has invested unprecedented resources into engaging traditionally Democrat voting blocks. This election cycle, the RPT employed a full time Hispanic Engagement Director, David Zapata, and 6 full time Hispanic engagement field staff: Crystal Rodriguez, El Paso; Rudy Tovar, Rio Grande Valley; Roseanne Rodriguez, Houston; Brian Flores, Dallas; Andrea Chavez and Kattie Torres in San Antonio.
Together, this team of hard working professionals worked with our statewide and regional candidates with the goal to deliver historical gains for the Republican Party among Hispanic voters. And how sweet it is to see our investment in these communities yield votes on Election Day. According to national exit polls, US Senator John Cornyn beat his Democrat opponent among Hispanic voters while Governor – elect Greg Abbott and Lt. Governor – elect Dan Patrick both won male Hispanic voters and both split the overall Hispanic vote with Patrick receiving 46%, and Abbott 44%, according to CNN exit polls.
Republicans also increased our Hispanic representation in the Texas House of Representatives, as Gilbert Pena from Houston and Rick Galindo from San Antonio both defeated Democrat incumbents. Also, we have added to our already existing number of statewide Hispanic Republican candidates with the addition of George P. Bush as our new Texas Land Commissioner.
In addition, Republican candidates outperformed expectations in almost every South Texas County.
This is the result of hard work from all of our county chairs, SREC members, Republican club members and election year volunteers. Without your efforts, we never would have made such gains among Hispanic voters and in such competitive legislative races.
For example, in Bexar County, Chairman Robert Stovall and the county GOP made 272,945 phone calls and knocked on 60,040 doors to turn out Republican voters. As a result of their efforts, they had more straight ticket Republican voters than ever before, won their county for Sen. Cornyn and Gregg Abbott, and netted more votes for Congressman- elect Will Hurd than had been previously netted in Bexar County for CD 23, with Republican Will Hurd taking almost 60% of the Bexar county vote. They also retired Democrat State Rep Philip Cortez and elected Republican Rick Galindo to the Texas House.
These gains and the many others across the state are significant for two reasons. One, because it assures us that as our state becomes more diverse, it will also become more Republican. But more importantly, it is evidence that this Republican led state has provided a better quality of life for all Texans, and that is being recognized at the ballot box.
Regarding our electoral success, Texas GOP Chairman Steve Munisteri said, “When I ran for State Chair in 2010, a core plank of my platform was that if the RPT and the national party were to be successful in the future, it was imperative that we increase our presence in the minority communities. Upon my election, we made it the number one priority at the RPT to build a robust engagement program. Over the last several years, my engagement staff has worked diligently to reach out to leaders in each of these communities. It was encouraging to see progress in this area starting in 2012, as several new Hispanic and African American candidates won offices and we turned out approximately 600 new Hispanic delegates at our state convention along with electing numerous people from other diverse comminutes. We also elected numerous Hispanic and African American activists to the SREC. These election results are a culmination of these efforts and have resulted in achieving our near team goal of significantly increasing the percentage of voters in each of these communities that support our ticket. Now it is time for us to move forward to achieve our final goal of obtaining a majority of the vote in each of these communities. The RPT will have an exciting announcement regarding our plans for the future within the next month.”