Sunday, April 21, 2024

Rochelle Garza, The First Latina Running for Texas Attorney General, Is Looking to Break Even More Barriers

Before starting her race for Texas Attorney General, Democrat Rochelle Garza halted a Trump Administration’s attempt to stop a detained migrant teenager from getting an abortion.

In 2017, the incumbent attorney general, Ken Paxton, backed the past administration on that case, warning in a brief that “Texas must not become a sanctuary state for abortions.” But Garza, an immigration lawyer, won the appeal, and the teenager was granted an abortion. The decision created what is known as the “Garza notice,” protecting immigrants’ access to abortion.

Currently, Garza is in a tight race with Paxton for Texas Attorney General, a job that has taken on new significance since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. After that ruling ended the constitutional right to an abortion, Texas gave its attorney general the power to collect up to $100,000 in civil fines for any abortion performed in the state.

“I’m in this for my daughter, I have a six-month-old little girl. I knew I was pregnant when I decided to run. I was nine weeks pregnant when the six-week abortion ban went into effect. I saw the writing on the wall … and I felt like I needed to step up,” Garza said.

Garza, a native of Rio Grande Valley, is the only Latino major party candidate for executive office on the state ballot, even though there are more Latinos than any other demographic. Democrats are also putting up Latina candidates for the state Supreme Court.

On the other hand, Paxton is currently under indictment on securities fraud charges, and the FBI is also investigating him for alleged abuse of office. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Garza already broke many barriers by being the first Latina nominee for Texas attorney general. She would make even more history if she were to win in November as the first Hispanic, the first woman, and the first Democrat elected to a statewide executive office since 1994.

“I grew up in Brownsville … I’m a fifth generation Tejana from the (Rio Grande Valley) region. I’m a civil rights attorney. I’m a mother and I’m here to beat criminally indicted Ken Paxton,” Garza expressed to her supporters.

NBC News