© 2024 Marfa Public Radio
A 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Lobby Hours: Monday - Friday 10 AM to Noon & 1 PM to 4 PM
For general inquiries: (432) 729-4578
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

District 23 Challenger Gina Ortiz Jones on her Congressional Run and the "Gut Check" that Led to It

Gina Ortiz Jones is a former intelligence officer. She's running in a packed primary field, hoping to challenge District 23 incumbent, Rep. Will Hurd. (Courtesy of Gina Ortiz Jones Campaign)

Gina Ortiz Jones is one of the candidates running for Texas' 23rd Congressional District 23. It’s currently held by Helotes Republican Will Hurd. It’s one of the most competitive congressional districts in the state, stretching from San Antonio into West Texas.

Jones recently talked about her decision to run and how her experiences following the 2016 election were a “gut check.”

Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, entered the race for Texas' 23rd congressional district in August. After her time in the Air Force, Jones briefly worked in the private sector. But it's her most recent work and her experiences in the Office of the U.S. trade Representative that were a "gut check" and convinced her to run for the 23rd congressional district

"I knew my time in public service would be different," says Gina Ortiz Jones in an interview with Marfa Public Radio and West Texas Public Radio. "I knew it would be different having been a veteran, as a woman, as a member of the LGBT community, as a first-generation American, I knew just how this administration ran their campaign what they would focus on."

District 23 is one of the most competitive congressional districts in the state, running from San Antonio to El Paso. During the 2016 November, it was one of the few Congressional districts in the state and country that narrowly voted for Hilary Clinton, while electing a Republican representative. The democratic primary for the district has quickly filled: San Antonio Prosecutor Jay Hulings, former Obama and Clinton appointee Judy Canales, and Rick Treviño, a former teacher and Bernie Sanders delegate in last year's Democratic National Convention.

Recently, the candidates for CD23 -- with the exception of Canales -- gathered at a North San Antonio rally for a District rally, where they lambasted Hurd on tax reform.

On the similarities the candidates share, Jones says: "If you were to ask us a set of questions, I think we may actually answer those very similarly. However, I think in these times it's not just answering the question that is posed to you," says Jones. "I think the real important piece here is having the moral courage to set the agenda."

In the rest of the interview Jones talks about the district's competitiveness and why she believes she's the candidate for district 23. 


Carlos Morales is Marfa Public Radio's News Director.