Texas Congressional candidate, Gina Ortiz Jones, could make history four times over as the first openly gay, first Iraq War veteran, first Filipino-American, and first female if she wins the 23rd district.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Ortiz Jones says that should she beat the two-term incumbent William Heard, having a female in the seat is of particular importance in the Lone Star State.
‘That matters, frankly. A woman having a baby in Texas is more than five times more likely to die in that process than if she had that baby in California. Representation matters—in no small part, on health care.
‘I would be honored to be the first in a number of respects, but more important is that I am not the last. We will have made progress, but there is still a lot of work to do,’ she adds.
Gina Ortiz Jones is set to make history several times over if she is able to win the Texas Congressional 23rd district seat in November
Jones is facing off against two-term incumbent William Hurd in the November race
Ortiz Jones says that serving in uniform, as an Air Force intelligence officer, and her subsequent career in national security, brought her to her yearning to become a public servant- as a politician.
‘My experiences in and out of uniform are transferable,’ Ortiz Jones said.
‘I have a record of putting my country above everything else. That’s what people here are hungry for. They want somebody that gets things done. Frankly, if we don’t get it done, how are we held accountable?’
She also wants voters to know she was raised by a single mother, and that her family relied on government services.
‘The fact that at one point in time I relied on several programs as a young child. All of those were critical investments that allowed me to earn a ROTC [Reserve Officers’ Training Corps] scholarship that allowed me to get an education and serve my country.’
‘When I talk about my experiences, I know where I came from, I know how I got here, and I know now my responsibility to help others get here,’ she declared.
She says she is not concerned that she will be attacked over her sexual orientation in the campaign, because, as she says that even if her Republican foes go there, ‘in this day and age, that speaks more to them and their lack of platform than anything else.’
Ortiz Jones says while she is disappointed in President Trump’s attempts to ban transgender troops from serving, she isn’t shocked.
‘Well, it’s not super surprising given he has never been involved in any public service or national security. Based on his politics, he doesn’t know about national security in a number of ways, much less how to manage talent in national security.
‘To arbitrarily move to ban transgender folks from serving, let’s be clear: It’s based on bigotry.
More importantly she says that those who are transgender and currently serving are doing an excellent job.
‘They should be celebrated for their sacrifices they and their families are making—not discriminated against.’