Sylvia Garcia

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Sylvia Garcia
Sylvia Garcia
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 29th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byGene Green
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 6th district
In office
March 11, 2013 – January 3, 2019
Preceded byMario Gallegos Jr.
Succeeded byCarol Alvarado
Personal details
Sylvia Rodriguez Garcia

(1950-09-06) September 6, 1950 (age 69)
San Diego, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationTexas Woman's University (BA)
Texas Southern University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Sylvia Rodriguez Garcia[1] (born September 6, 1950) is an American politician who has been serving as the U.S. Representative for Texas's 29th congressional district since 2019. Her district covers much of eastern Houston. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously represented District 6 in the Texas Senate.

Early life and education[edit]

Sylvia Rodriguez Garcia was born in San Diego, Texas[2] and raised in Palito Blanco in west central Jim Wells County, the daughter of Rick and Antonia Rodriguez Garcia. She is the eighth of ten children.[3]

After graduating from Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco High School,[2] Garcia attended Texas Woman's University on a scholarship. She graduated with a degree in social work. After completing her studies, she began her career as a social worker. She later received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law.[4]

Early political career[edit]

City of Houston[edit]

In the early 1980s, Houston Mayor Kathryn Whitmire appointed Garcia as presiding judge of the Houston Municipal System.[5] She served for an unprecedented five terms under two mayors.[6]

In 1998, Garcia became Houston city controller.[7]

Harris County[edit]

Garcia was elected to the Harris County Commissioner's Court in 2002. She was the first woman and first Latina elected to that post in her own right.[4] Her precinct featured a major base of operations for NASA, the nation's largest petrochemical complex, the Houston Ship Channel and the Port of Houston, the sixth largest port in the world.[7]

Garcia was defeated for reelection to the Harris County Commissioner's Court in 2010 by Republican Jack Morman.[8]

Texas Senate[edit]

In 2013, Garcia defeated State Representative Carol Alvarado in a special election runoff to replace the late state Senator Mario Gallegos.[9]

Garcia took the oath of office for state senator on March 11, 2013.[10] She served on the Criminal Justice, Intergovernmental Relations, Natural Resources and Economic Development, and Transportation committees.[11] Garcia ran unopposed in the 2016 general election.[12]

U. S. House of Representatives[edit]


1992 General election[edit]

While still serving as a municipal judge, Garcia ran in the Democratic primary for the newly-created 29th congressional seat in 1992. She finished third in the five-way primary–the real contest in this heavily Democratic, Latino-majority district– behind City Councilman Ben Reyes and State Senator Gene Green.[13] Green went on to win the runoff, and would hold the seat for 26 years.

2018 General Election[edit]

Green announced his retirement in November 2017, and Garcia–who by then held the state senate seat Green once held–entered a crowded seven-way Democratic primary. The district was still a Democratic stronghold, and whoever won the primary would be an overwhelming favorite in November. Garcia got a significant boost when Green endorsed her as his successor, saying that "she's a legislator, and that's what a member of Congress should be."[14] She easily won the primary with 63 percent of the vote.[15] Her Republican opponent, Phillip Aronoff, used the sexual harassment and wrongful termination allegations against Garcia.[16] Garcia handily won the November 6,. 2018 general election. She and Veronica Escobar became the first Latina congresswomen from Texas.[17][18]


Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Electoral history[edit]

Democratic primary results[19]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sylvia Garcia 11,659 63.2
Democratic Tahir Javed 3,817 20.7
Democratic Roel Garcia 1,217 6.6
Democratic Hector Morales 562 3.0
Democratic Augustine H. Reyes 524 2.8
Democratic Dominique Michelle Garcia 472 2.6
Democratic Pedro Valencia 192 1.1
Total votes 18,443 100.0
Texas's 29th congressional district, 2018[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sylvia Garcia 88,188 75.1
Republican Phillip Aronoff 28,098 23.9
Libertarian Cullen Burns 1,199 1.0
Independent Johnathan Garza (write-in) 9 0.0
Total votes 117,494 100.0
Democratic hold


LGBT rights[edit]

Garcia supports the Equality Act, a bill that would expand the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.[21] She voted in favor of the bill in 2019.[22]

Accusation of Misconduct[edit]

Days before the 2018 election, a video was posted on YouTube, alleging that Garcia has been accused of sexual harassment and wrongful termination, over events occurring in 1995.[23] Garcia refutes the claims.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ José Angel Gutiérrez. Oral History Interview with Sylvia García, 1999
  4. ^ a b "Senator Sylvia Garcia: District 6". Texas State Senate. Archived from the original on 2013-03-09.
  5. ^ "History in the making in this year's election". University of Houston–Clear Lake.
  6. ^ "TMSL Alumni". Texas Southern University. Archived from the original on 2012-06-03.
  7. ^ a b "Texas State Directory". Texas State Directory.
  8. ^ "Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia loses seat to political newcomer". KHOU. Archived from the original on 2010-12-08.
  9. ^ "Sylvia Garcia Defeats Alvarado in Senate Runoff". News 92 FM. Archived from the original on 2013-03-05.
  10. ^ "Sylvia Garcia, newest state senator, sworn in". KXAN. Archived from the original on 2013-03-14.
  11. ^ "Texas Senators". State of Texas.
  12. ^ "Texas 6th District State Senate Results: Sylvia Garcia Wins". New York Times. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  13. ^ 1992 congressional primary
  14. ^ Shay, Miya (2018-03-06). "Senator Garcia expected to take Congressman Gene Green's seat in Congress". KTRK-TV.
  15. ^ 2018 congressional primary
  16. ^ "Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Sen. Sylvia Garcia - Full Video Release". Aronoff for Congress. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  17. ^ "Veronica Escobar is closer to making House history in Texas". Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  18. ^ "Veronica Escobar on path to make Latina, Texas history after Congress primary victory". March 12, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  19. ^ "2018 Primary Election Official Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  20. ^ "Texas Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  21. ^ "House Debate on the Equality Act". C-SPAN. May 17, 2019.
  22. ^ Final Vote Results for Roll Call 217
  23. ^ UrbanosBennett (2018-11-02), Nora Soto Gutierrez vs. Sylvia R. Garcia, retrieved 2018-11-20
  24. ^ Tribune, The Texas; Walters, Alexa Ura, Morgan Smith, Jolie McCullough and Edgar (2017-11-14). "At the Texas Capitol, victims of sexual harassment must fend for themselves". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 2019-01-27.

External links[edit]

Texas Senate
Preceded by
Mario Gallegos Jr.
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 6th district

Succeeded by
Carol Alvarado
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Gene Green
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 29th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Chuy García
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Jared Golden