POSTED: Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 3:49pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 11, 2014 - 7:17am
MCALLEN, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — The Republican party is trying to hold off the blue tide in Texas.
Many political experts say Texas is turning Democratic is more a matter of if, not when. Latinos and Hispanics are expected to be the largest demographic in as little as ten years, and they largely favor Democratic candidates.
The Grand Old Party is doing what it can to delay the Democratic shift.
"We know what the demographics are looking like," Jason Villalba (R-114th) said. "And we know that unless we are able to win a significant proportion of the Hispanic vote, 40 percent, 50 percent, that it's going to be difficult for the Republicans to compete on a statewide basis."
Villalba is from a state district in Dallas. He said his party needs to atone for some of the words used in past against Latinos.
He hopes to lead the charge.
"I've gone to a number of the candidates that have used the kind of language that I believe to be offensive and talk to them about that," Villalba said. "They don't know how to engage the Hispanic community in a way that can be helpful and effective for the party."
Villalba said there are some conservative tenets that Hispanics identify with. He says Latinos are typically pro-life, and own small businesses. He said he doesn't favor amnesty and would rather allow legal status for those who wish to come here to work.
But it can be hard for the GOP to get credibility on those issues with Hispanics.
"That's part of our mission is to educate my own party on these issues in a way that's not divisive like it's had been in the past," Villalba said. "So we're hopeful, but we know we've got work to do."