On June 11, Adrienne Peña Garza was sworn-in as the first Hispanic woman to be elected as Hidalgo County’s GOP Chairman.

Before a packed room at the Hidalgo County GOP Headquarters, she took the oath of office in the “bluest part of Texas,” stressing the importance of winning in November.

A mother, wife, entrepreneur, political activist, and humanitarian, she holds the title as “The Valley’s Big Sister” in her countless efforts to grow the Republican party in the Rio Grande Valley.

In the contested race for Hidalgo County GOP chairman, she defeated air force veteran and businessman Robert Bonds by 1,004 votes in the March primaries.

Immediately after her election, Texas Scorecard sat down with Adrienne to discuss the future of the Republican Party in the RGV.

Although energetic and motivated to hold the GOP reigns in the RGV, some have reservations: is she conservative enough? Wearing her elephant necklace, she responds, “most people know that I am conservative, but that’s just politics.” 

Adrienne’s philosophy in the Republican Party is based on the “big-tent” idea, as her goal of winning begins with uniting and strengthening the party with growth. In doing so, she states, that begins with inclusion, inviting people in. In her new role as Chairman, she wants to recreate the image of the GOP as she feels it has been misidentified in the RGV within the Hispanic community.

“In our county alone, I have seen what has worked, and what hasn’t worked,” she states, “To think we can ever win with one ideal, won’t work in the RGV, we need each other.” She further states, “I’m tired of losing in Hidalgo County, and not having checks and balances in both parties, we’re used to listening to only one message.”

Adrienne’s new role as GOP Chairman has put a target on her back, yet her tenacity keeps her moving forward. Leading up to November, only time will prove if her efforts will come to fruition in victory for the party’s candidates. Hopefully, painting the bluest part of Texas a spot of red will be Adrienne’s signature.

Miriam Cepeda

Miriam Cepeda is the Rio Grande Valley Bureau Chief for Texas Scorecard. A second-generation Mexican American, she is both fluent in English and Spanish and has been influential in grassroots organizing and conservative engagement within Hispanic communities. If you don’t find her “Trumping”, you can find her saving animals, running her dog, hiking the Andes, or volunteering with the U.S. National Park Service.


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