Attorney and activist Domingo García is looking to become the first Hispanic from North Texas to hold a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

On July 31, García will face off in a runoff against African American Marc Veasey for the Democratic nomination for the recently created District 33, which includes parts of Dallas and Tarrant counties.

In an area with a Democratic majority, the person who wins the party's nomination is practically certain to win the House seat in November.

At 54, García knows the ins and outs of a public post after having been a Dallas city councilman from 1991-1995 and a Texas state legislator from 1996-2002.

But he also is very familiar with the troubling aspects of defeat, having been unable to garner the votes needed to win the Dallas mayorship in 2002.

His desire to help others and defend the rights of immigrants became evident in his formative years.

"In high school I was already president of the student body and when I entered the university I made up part of a Chicano civic group called CAUSA, where I tried to promote Mexican-American culture," García said in an interview with Efe.

Since then, he has been affiliated with many projects to protect citizens' rights.

Born in the West Texas city of Midland to an undocumented Mexican father and a Native American mother, García was 10 when the family moved to Dallas, where he worked as a shoeshine boy and bricklayer.

After finishing high school, he earned a bachelor's degree from the University of North Texas, a master's degree in international relations from El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City and a law degree from Texas Southern University. 

"In that career, I met the woman who is now my wife and when I returned I opened a law firm," said García, whose success as a criminal defense attorney enabled him to make several million dollars.

Today, his firm has offices in several cities in Texas and he appears in the media publicizing his business or in the news when he heads protest marches like the ones staged in 2006, when more than 500,000 people gathered in Dallas to demand that the federal government enact immigration reform.

"The great majority of those who participated in those historic mobilizations did so for the first time and it's through those experiences that a base is being created (that is) essential for the state's political future," he emphasized.

"Now is when we're seeing a new generation of emerging Latino leaders who want change and want to make a political difference for Texas," García said.

"When they learn the civic importance of electing their representatives, they pass that legacy on to their children and grandchildren," he said.

The clearest goal that he has set for himself if he is elected and goes to Washington concerns the struggle millions of people are going through and which his own father faced when he came to this country.

Namely, it consists of "achieving immigration reform and looking out for undocumented students so that they can get ahead with decent immigration status," García said. EFE

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