At Polls, Texas Voters Seek Progress, Stay in Mainstream on Key State Priorities
In a primary election with few consistent themes, the working people of the Texas AFL-CIO COPE helped make history and check the advance of a right-wing agenda that would undermine public schools, reduce access to health care and further compromise the future of immigrants, Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy said.
“Working people have plenty to cheer,” Levy said. “At the top of the list: surging turnout and heightened engagement of not only our members and affiliates, but of working people across the state. The turnout has created new momentum and hope for achieving a better Texas, this November and beyond.”
“We were proud to participate in several history-making moments, including the presumed election of the first two Texas Latinas to Congress,” Levy said. “We are excited about Beto O’Rourke’s taking the fight for working families to Rafael Cruz in the race for U.S. Senate and we will continue to stand with Lupe Valdez as she brings our values and priorities into the runoff for Governor.”
“Whether we are talking Democratic or Republican primaries, we are proud that working people supported candidates who fight for a fair shot for every working family to get ahead in life. Voters repeatedly chose neighborhood public schools ahead of risky private school vouchers and put good jobs with fair pay and retirement security ahead of divisive distractions.”
“Texans acted independently and even rejected three of four attempts by a power-hungry Governor to interfere in their local communities,” Levy said. “In rejecting the Governor’s offensive, voters affirmed the core Texas principle that the best government is the government closest to the people.”
Texas AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Montserrat Garibay said the state labor federation is proud of the level of engagement in Central Labor Councils, in local unions and among individual union members.
“We expect the numbers will show the votes of working people were well-represented in a strong overall turnout that was balanced much more closely between the major parties than in previous elections,” Garibay said. “Believe me, working people have incentive to show up to vote this year.”
Garibay – the first Latina to hold a top office in the Texas AFL-CIO – also celebrated the achievement of the first two Latinas that Texas will send to Congress – Sen. Sylvia Garcia and County Judge Veronica Escobar.
“History was made twice in one night,” Garibay said. “Solid majorities in multi-candidate fields declared that it is long past time and Sen. Garcia and Judge Escobar have earned overdue places in history.”
Central Labor Councils and the Texas AFL-CIO COPE may consider revised endorsements as the election moves forward, in part based on yesterday’s results.