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Texas Realtor to Run for Hinojosa Seat

Hinojosa announced earlier this fall that he would not run for re-election. (File Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Dolly Elizondo, a Texas Realtor and local Democratic activist, said Thursday she will run in the state's 15th District, a campaign that, if successful, could make her the first Latina to represent the Lone Star State in Congress.  

Elizondo joined a growing intra-party fight for the seat, rated Safe Democrat by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report /Roll Call, which is being vacated by Rep. Rubén Hinojosa, D-Texas, for the first time in two decades. “I am a firm believer that ordinary people such as myself need to participate in government. While we have struggled, have had to work hard and fight for resources, we’ve been able to overcome those obstacles and succeed," she said in a statement. "Now it is our responsibility to get involved and advocate for others.”  

Elizondo's announcement came less than two weeks before the Dec. 14 filing deadline. Already, two other Democrats  – lawyers Vicente Gonzalez and Juan Palcios Jr. – have begun their campaigns for the March 1 primary. No Republican has entered the race.  

Elizondo might have one advantage over her rivals: Some help from Washington. Rachel Thomas, a spokeswoman for D.C.-based EMILY's List, a group that helps Democratic women raise money and organize campaigns for office, said the race has gotten its attention.  

"We are watching this race closely. Getting more women elected in seats like this is a critical part of EMILY's List's mission," she told Roll Call.  

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