Included in the GOP wave that swept Texas Democrats back to being even more irrelevant than they already were, were five Latino Republicans and two black Republicans. Let that sink in for a minute. Yes, nearly one-third of the newly elected Republican state representatives were conservative minorities! This is great news, and I hope liberals are “open-minded” enough to accept this reality: we, minorities, are individuals and there are plenty of us who are conservative and tired of being taken for granted by the Democratic Party.

What drives a lot of people crazy is the concept that those of us who are conservative minorities, specifically Latinos, don’t all agree 100 percent on everything. That’s what makes this next legislative session so interesting to me. This could arguably be the best Texas has ever been represented. The left is always clamoring for “diversity” and guess what, the voters gave them just that on November 2nd. . . along with a big dose of reality.

In addition to these gains, we also saw a truly “wise Latina,” Eva Guzman, elected to a full-term on the Texas Supreme Court and Republicans Francisco “Quico” Canseco and Bill Flores elected to the US Congress. The Republican wave was so high that Republicans without Hispanic surnames made gains in heavily Hispanic areas, such as Laura Allen who was elected Val Verde County Judge and Blake Farenthold who unseated 28-year incumbent Solomon Ortiz in TX-27.

Now the challenge is on the GOP to make good use of these unique opportunities. Not all Latinos have the same view on every subject, just as we Republicans can disagree on various issues, but the GOP must be careful with how we package our message. After all, as President Reagan once said, “Hispanics are Republicans, they just don’t know it yet.” The problem with the GOP and Latinos has never been messaging. We Latinos are natural conservatives and entrepreneurs who understand the value of hard work. The problem has always been packaging. It’s been so easy for the left to say we shouldn’t feel welcomed in the GOP, but to be completely honest, I feel more comfortable with the party of family values and limited taxes, not the family of big government. After all, my grandparents left a country with a large government for a reason—the chance to achieve their dreams without big brother constantly over their shoulder and in their pockets.

Nationally, conservative minorities made major gains across the country as well. Florida and South Carolina elected black Republicans to Congress, while Idaho, Washington and Texas will be sending more Latino Republicans to the US House. Of course everyone has heard of Senator-elect Marco Rubio of Florida, but it’s interesting to note the only Hispanic governors in the US are Republicans Brian Sandoval (R-NV) and Susana Martinez (R-NM).

I hope we will be able to use these gains to build bridges with more of our natural allies who will help us in our fight for smaller, smarter government, personal and fiscal responsibility, and social values.

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