|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Texas's 16th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Beto O'Rourke|
|County Judge of El Paso County|
January 1, 2011 – October 10, 2017
|Preceded by||Anthony Cobos|
|Succeeded by||Ruben Vogt|
|Born||September 15, 1969|
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
|Residence(s)||Central El Paso, Texas, U.S.|
|Education||University of Texas at El Paso (BA)|
New York University (MA)
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, since 2019. A member of the Democratic Party, she served as an El Paso County commissioner from 2007 to 2011 and the El Paso county judge from 2011 until 2017.
Early life and education
Escobar is a native of El Paso, where she was born in 1969. She grew up near her family's dairy farm with her parents and four brothers. 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.
Early political career
Escobar worked as a nonprofit executive and as Raymond Caballero's communications director when he was mayor of El Paso. When Caballero failed to get reelected, Escobar—along with Susie Byrd, attorney Steve Ortega and businessman Beto O'Rourke—considered entering public service; they started to discuss grassroots strategies with the goals of improving urban planning, creating a more diversified economy with more highly skilled jobs, as well as ending systemic corruption among city leadership.
Escobar was elected as a County Commissioner of El Paso County in 2006 and as the County Judge of El Paso County in 2010. O’Rourke, Byrd and Ortega also all ran for office and won; they came to be collectively referred to as "The Progressives." She also taught English and Chicano literature at UTEP and El Paso Community College.
U.S. House of Representatives
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. As the district is a solidly Democratic, majority-Hispanic district, whoever won the Democratic primary was heavily favored in November. Escobar won the six-way Democratic primary with 61% of the vote.
In June 2018, Escobar and O'Rourke led protests in Tornillo, Texas, against the Trump administration family separation policy that involved separating immigrant children from their families. Tornillo is just miles from the Rio Grande, the river that forms the border between the U.S. and Mexico in Texas. 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.
Escobar won the general election on November 6, defeating Republican Rick Seeberger. She became the first woman to represent the 16th. Escobar and Sylvia Garcia of Houston became the first Latina congresswomen from Texas. Although the 16th has been a majority-Hispanic district since at least the 1970s, Escobar is only the second Hispanic ever to represent it, the first being Silvestre Reyes, O'Rourke's predecessor.
Escobar ran for reelection. She was unopposed in the Democratic primary and faced the Republican nominee, realtor Irene Armendariz-Jackson, in the general election. Escobar won with 64.7% of the vote to Armendariz-Jackson's 35.3%.
On February 4, 2020, Escobar delivered the Spanish-language response to President Trump's State of the Union Address. Her remarks touched on healthcare, immigration, the national debt, the importance of diversity, the 2019 mass shooting in El Paso, wealth inequality, gun violence, and the United States–Mexico–Canada trade agreement. She called Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate "the greatest threat to our security."
- Committee on Armed Services
- Committee on the Judiciary
|Independent||Sam Williams (write-in)||43||0.0|
Escobar and her husband, Michael Pleters, have two children.
- List of Hispanic/Latino American jurists
- List of Hispanic and Latino Americans in the United States Congress
- Women in the United States House of Representatives
- Perks, Ashley (November 15, 2018). "Texas New Members 2019". TheHill. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
- Bassett, Laura (September 8, 2017). "Meet The Woman Who Could Be Texas' First Latina In Congress". Huffington Post. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
- "County Judge Veronica Escobar | Q&A". elpasoinc.com. December 12, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2018.(subscription required)
- "Veronica Escobar is closer to making House history in Texas". Elpasotimes.com. March 9, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
- Benson, Eric (January 2018). "What Makes Beto Run?/Does Beto O'Rourke Stand a Chance Against Ted Cruz?". Texas Monthly. pp. 78–108.
- SVITEK, PATRICK (August 25, 2017). "El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar begins campaign for Congress". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
- "Our Campaigns - TX District 16 - D Primary Race - Mar 06, 2018". Our Campaigns. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
- 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.
- González, María Cortés (June 17, 2018). "Beto O'Rourke leads Tornillo protest against separation of immigrant families". El Paso Times.
- Flores, Aileen B. (March 12, 2018). "Veronica Escobar on path to make Latina, Texas history after Congress primary victory". KHOU. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
- "Veronica Escobar, Sylvia Garcia win, will be first Texas Latinas in Congress". Nbcnews.com. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- Litton, Andra (December 10, 2019). "List: 2020 March Primary candidates". KTSM. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
- "Texas Election Results - Official Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
- "Rep. Veronica Escobar wins freshman leadership seat". Politico. January 1, 1970. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
- "Democratic Spanish Language Response to State of the Union | C-SPAN.org". www.c-span.org. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
- "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
- "Leadership | New Democrat Coalition". newdemocratcoalition.house.gov. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
- "2018 Primary Election Official Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 8, 2018.