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Sylvia Garcia
Sylvia Garcia
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 29th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byGene Green
Member of the Texas Senate
from the 6th district
In office
March 11, 2013 – November 9, 2018[1]
Preceded byMario Gallegos Jr.
Succeeded byCarol Alvarado
Harris County Commissioner from Precinct 2
In office
January 1, 2003 – January 1, 2011
Preceded byJim Fontento
Succeeded byJack Morman
12th City Controller of Houston
In office
January 2, 1998 – January 1, 2003
Preceded byLloyd Kelly
Succeeded byJudy Gray Johnson
Personal details
Sylvia Rodriguez Garcia

(1950-09-06) September 6, 1950 (age 72)
San Diego, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationTexas Woman's University (BA)
Texas Southern University (JD)
WebsiteHouse website

Sylvia Rodriguez Garcia[2] (born September 6, 1950) is an American lawyer and politician who has been serving as the U.S. representative for Texas's 29th congressional district since 2019. Her district covers much of eastern Houston. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously represented the 6th district in the Texas Senate.

Early life and education

Sylvia Rodriguez Garcia was born in San Diego, Texas,[3] and raised in Palito Blanco in west central Jim Wells County, the daughter of Luis and Antonia Rodriguez Garcia. She is the eighth of ten children.[4] Her family are Mexican Americans.[5]

After graduating from Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco High School,[3] Garcia attended Texas Woman's University on a scholarship. She graduated with a degree in social work and began a career as a social worker. She later received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law.[6]

Early political career

City of Houston

In the early 1980s, Houston Mayor Kathryn Whitmire appointed Garcia as presiding judge of the Houston Municipal System.[7] She served for an unprecedented five terms under two mayors.[8]

In 1998, Garcia became Houston city controller.[9]

Harris County

Garcia was elected to the Harris County Commissioner's Court in 2002. She was the first woman and first Latina elected to that post in her own right.[6] Her precinct featured a major base of operations for NASA, the nation's largest petrochemical complex, the Houston Ship Channel and the Port of Houston, the sixth largest port in the world.[9]

In 2010, Garcia was defeated for reelection to the Harris County Commissioner's Court by Republican Jack Morman.[10]

Texas Senate

In 2013, Garcia defeated State Representative Carol Alvarado in a special election runoff to replace the late state Senator Mario Gallegos.[11]

Garcia took the oath of office for state senator on March 11, 2013.[12] She served on the Criminal Justice, Intergovernmental Relations, Natural Resources and Economic Development, and Transportation committees.[13] Garcia ran unopposed in the 2016 general election.[14]

U. S. House of Representatives



While still serving as a municipal judge, Garcia ran in the Democratic primary for the newly created 29th congressional seat in 1992. She finished third in the five-way primary behind City Councilman Ben Reyes and State Senator Gene Green.[15] Green won the runoff and held the seat for 26 years.


Green announced his retirement in November 2017, and Garcia—who by then held the state senate seat Green once held—entered a crowded seven-way Democratic primary. The district was still a Democratic stronghold, and it was taken for granted that whoever won the primary would be overwhelmingly favored in November. Garcia got a significant boost when Green endorsed her, saying, "she's a legislator, and that's what a member of Congress should be."[16] She won the primary with 63% of the vote.[17] Her Republican opponent, Phillip Aronoff, used sexual harassment and wrongful termination allegations against Garcia.[18] Garcia handily won the November 6 general election. She and Veronica Escobar became the first Latina congresswomen from Texas, and Garcia is the first woman to represent the district.[19][20] Garcia is also the first Hispanic to represent a significant portion of Houston in Congress.


Garcia won reelection in 2020, defeating Republican Jaimy Blanco.


On January 15, 2020, Garcia was selected as one of seven House impeachment managers who presented the impeachment case against President Donald Trump during his trial before the United States Senate.[21]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Electoral history

Texas's 29th congressional district Democratic primary results, 2018[25]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sylvia Garcia 11,659 63.2
Democratic Tahir Javed 3,817 20.7
Democratic Roel Garcia 1,217 6.6
Democratic Hector Morales 562 3.0
Democratic Augustine H. Reyes 524 2.8
Democratic Dominique Michelle Garcia 472 2.6
Democratic Pedro Valencia 192 1.1
Total votes 18,443 100.0
Texas's 29th congressional district, 2018[26]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sylvia Garcia 88,188 75.1
Republican Phillip Aronoff 28,098 23.9
Libertarian Cullen Burns 1,199 1.0
Independent Johnathan Garza (write-in) 9 0.0
Total votes 117,494 100.0
Democratic hold
Texas's 29th congressional district, 2020
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Sylvia Garcia (incumbent) 111,305 71.1%
Republican Jaimy Blanco 42,840 27.4%
Libertarian Phil Kurtz 2,328 1.5%
Total votes 156,473 100.0
Democratic hold


LGBT rights

Garcia supports the Equality Act, a bill that would expand the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.[27] She voted for it in 2019.[28]

See also


  1. ^[bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ "Schedule a for ALL Line #'s". Archived from the original on 2019-06-23. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  3. ^ a b "GARCIA, Sylvia - Biographical Information". Archived from the original on 2019-04-03. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  4. ^ José Angel Gutiérrez. Oral History Interview with Sylvia García, 1999 Archived 2018-12-21 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Guadalupe, Patricia (2019-03-06). "Rep. Sylvia García is honored with the Edward Roybal Award for Public Service". NBC News. Archived from the original on 2019-08-14. Retrieved 2020-01-24.
  6. ^ a b "Senator Sylvia Garcia: District 6". Texas State Senate. Archived from the original on 2013-03-09.
  7. ^ "History in the making in this year's election". University of Houston–Clear Lake. Archived from the original on 2013-04-20. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  8. ^ "TMSL Alumni". Texas Southern University. Archived from the original on 2012-06-03.
  9. ^ a b "Texas State Directory". Texas State Directory. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
  10. ^ "Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia loses seat to political newcomer". KHOU. Archived from the original on 2010-12-08.
  11. ^ "Sylvia Garcia Defeats Alvarado in Senate Runoff". News 92 FM. Archived from the original on 2013-03-05.
  12. ^ "Sylvia Garcia, newest state senator, sworn in". KXAN. Archived from the original on 2013-03-14.
  13. ^ "Texas Senators". State of Texas. Archived from the original on 2017-04-25. Retrieved 2017-04-24.
  14. ^ "Texas 6th District State Senate Results: Sylvia Garcia Wins". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 January 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  15. ^ "1992 congressional primary". Archived from the original on 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  16. ^ Shay, Miya (2018-03-06). "Senator Garcia expected to take Congressman Gene Green's seat in Congress". KTRK-TV. Archived from the original on 2018-03-07. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  17. ^ "2018 congressional primary". Archived from the original on 2018-03-08. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  18. ^ "Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Sen. Sylvia Garcia - Full Video Release". Aronoff for Congress. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  19. ^ "Veronica Escobar is closer to making House history in Texas". Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  20. ^ "Veronica Escobar on path to make Latina, Texas history after Congress primary victory". March 12, 2018. Archived from the original on April 28, 2018. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  21. ^ Wilkie, Christina (2020-01-15). "Pelosi taps Schiff, Nadler and 5 others as Trump impeachment managers". CNBC. Archived from the original on 2020-01-15. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
  22. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Progressive Caucus. Retrieved 2021-03-29.
  23. ^ "Caucus Members". Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus.
  24. ^ "Congressional HBCU Caucus Gets Five New Members". Congressional HBCU Caucus Gets Five New Members.
  25. ^ "2018 Primary Election Official Results". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on March 7, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  26. ^ "Texas Election Results". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on March 31, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  27. ^ "House Debate on the Equality Act". C-SPAN. May 17, 2019. Archived from the original on August 4, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  28. ^ "Final Vote Results for Roll Call 217". Archived from the original on 2019-05-17. Retrieved 2019-05-18.

External links

Texas Senate
Preceded by Member of the Texas Senate
from the 6th district

Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 29th congressional district

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