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Veronica Escobar

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Veronica Escobar
Co-Chair of the House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2023
LeaderHakeem Jeffries
Preceded byDebbie Dingell
Matt Cartwright
Ted Lieu
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 16th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byBeto O'Rourke
County Judge of El Paso County
In office
January 1, 2011 – October 10, 2017
Preceded byAnthony Cobos
Succeeded byRuben Vogt
Personal details
Born (1969-09-15) September 15, 1969 (age 54)
El Paso, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseMichael Pleters
EducationUniversity of Texas at El Paso (BA)
New York University (MA)
WebsiteHouse website

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[edit]

Escobar is a native of El Paso, where she was born in 1969.[1] She grew up near her family's dairy farm with her parents and four brothers.[2] 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.[3]

Early political career[edit]

Escobar worked as a nonprofit executive and as Raymond Caballero's communications director when he was mayor of El Paso.[4] 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.[5]

Escobar was elected as El Paso County Commissioner in 2006 and as El Paso County Judge in 2010.[4] O’Rourke, Byrd and Ortega also all ran for office and won; they came to be collectively referred to as "The Progressives."[5] She also taught English and Chicano literature at UTEP and El Paso Community College.[4]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]



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.[6] As the district is a solidly Democratic, majority-Hispanic district, whoever won the Democratic primary was heavily favored in November.[2] Escobar won the six-way Democratic primary with 61% of the vote.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[4][10][11] 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,[12] in the general election. Escobar won with 64.7% of the vote to Armendariz-Jackson's 35.3%.[13]

Escobar meets with a migrant child at the CBP processing center in Donna, Texas in May 2021.


On November 13, 2019, Escobar was elected as a freshman class representative in a secret ballot by her peers, filling the role of Katie Hill, who had resigned from Congress.[14]

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."[15]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Escobar voted to provide Israel with support following 2023 Hamas attack on Israel.[18][19] She has voted with President Joe Biden's stated position 100% of the time in the 117th Congress, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis.[20]

Electoral history[edit]


Democratic primary results[21]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Veronica Escobar 30,630 61.4
Democratic Dori Fenenbock 10,992 22.0
Democratic Norma Chavez 3,325 6.7
Democratic Enrique Garcia 2,661 5.3
Democratic Jerome Tilghman 1,489 3.0
Democratic John Carrillo 771 1.6
Total votes 49,868 100.0
Texas's 16th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Veronica Escobar 124,437 68.5
Republican Rick Seeberger 49,127 27.0
Independent Ben Mendoza 8,147 4.5
Independent Sam Williams (write-in) 43 0.0
Total votes 181,754 100.0
Democratic hold


Texas's 16th congressional district[13]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Veronica Escobar (incumbent) 154,108 64.7
Republican Irene Armendariz-Jackson 84,006 35.3
Total votes 238,114 100.0
Democratic hold


Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Veronica Escobar (incumbent) 30,954 88.0
Democratic Deliris Montanez Berrios 4,235 12.0
Total votes 35,189 100.0
Texas's 16th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Veronica Escobar (incumbent) 95,510 63.46
Republican Irene Armendariz-Jackson 54,986 36.54
Total votes 150,496 100.0
Democratic hold

Personal life[edit]

Escobar and her husband, Michael Pleters, have two children.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Perks, Ashley (November 15, 2018). "Texas New Members 2019". The Hill. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Bassett, Laura (September 8, 2017). "Meet The Woman Who Could Be Texas' First Latina In Congress". HuffPost. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  3. ^ "County Judge Veronica Escobar | Q&A". elpasoinc.com. December 12, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2018.(subscription required)
  4. ^ a b c d e "Veronica Escobar is closer to making House history in Texas". Elpasotimes.com. March 9, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Benson, Eric (January 2018). "What Makes Beto Run?/Does Beto O'Rourke Stand a Chance Against Ted Cruz?". Texas Monthly. pp. 78–108.
  6. ^ SVITEK, PATRICK (August 25, 2017). "El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar begins campaign for Congress". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  7. ^ "Our Campaigns - TX District 16 - D Primary Race - Mar 06, 2018". Our Campaigns. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ González, María Cortés (June 17, 2018). "Beto O'Rourke leads Tornillo protest against separation of immigrant families". El Paso Times.
  10. ^ Flores, Aileen B. (March 12, 2018). "Veronica Escobar on path to make Latina, Texas history after Congress primary victory". KHOU. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  11. ^ "Veronica Escobar, Sylvia Garcia win, will be first Texas Latinas in Congress". NBC News. November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  12. ^ Litton, Andra (December 10, 2019). "List: 2020 March Primary candidates". KTSM. Retrieved December 14, 2019.
  13. ^ a b "Texas Election Results - Official Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  14. ^ "Rep. Veronica Escobar wins freshman leadership seat". Politico. January 1, 1970. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  15. ^ "Democratic Spanish Language Response to State of the Union | C-SPAN.org". www.c-span.org. C-SPAN. Retrieved February 5, 2020.
  16. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  17. ^ "Leadership | New Democrat Coalition". newdemocratcoalition.house.gov. Retrieved March 29, 2021.
  18. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (October 25, 2023). "House Declares Solidarity With Israel in First Legislation Under New Speaker". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 30, 2023.
  19. ^ Washington, U. S. Capitol Room H154; p:225-7000, DC 20515-6601 (October 25, 2023). "Roll Call 528 Roll Call 528, Bill Number: H. Res. 771, 118th Congress, 1st Session". Office of the Clerk, U.S. House of Representatives. Retrieved October 30, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ Bycoffe, Aaron; Wiederkehr, Anna (April 22, 2021). "Does Your Member Of Congress Vote With Or Against Biden?". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved November 15, 2023.
  21. ^ "2018 Primary Election Official Results". Texas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 8, 2018.

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 16th congressional district

U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by United States representatives by seniority
Succeeded by