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Pasadena Elections Provide Test For Growing Latino Voting Bloc

Early voting has begun for Pasadena’s City Council elections. Two years after the city lost a voting rights lawsuit, Hispanic candidates – and voters – are in a stronger position to decide the balance of power.

Early voting is now underway across Texas for the May 4 Joint Election. One of the most significant contests in the Houston area is in Pasadena.

It's been just two years since the City of Pasadena lost a lawsuit for deliberately discriminating against Latino voters. This year, virtually every incumbent on the Pasadena City Council faces a contest, and many of the challengers are Hispanic.

"Usually, there's a dearth of Latinos that are running for public office, both locally and statewide, so we are encouraged to see that in almost all of the races there is a Latino that is running," said Andy Canales, co-chair of the Latino Texas PAC.

Hispanic voters now make up a much larger proportion of Pasadena's electorate than two years ago.

"What's happened is over the course of all of this fighting is that the base of older, white conservative voters has declined and declined very quickly," said Bob Stein, professor of political science at Rice University.

Stein said the real test will be whether Latino voters show up in numbers similar to last year, when they helped Adrian Garcia oust then-County Commissioner Jack Morman.


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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