Pardee School Alumna Gina Ortiz Jones on Congressional Run

Photo: Ana Isabel

Gina Ortiz Jones (Pardee ’03) was interviewed for a recent article in BU Today on her bid to win the U.S. House of Representative seat in the Texas 23rd district this November, and how President Donald Trump’s 2016 election led to her campaign.

Ortiz Jones graduated from the Pardee School with a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies. She also has a master’s degree from Boston University in Economics. After leaving Boston University, Ortiz Jones served with the U.S. Air Force. 

If Ortiz Jones unseats her Republican incumbent opponent in November, she will become the first woman to represent the district as well as the first Filipina American and first lesbian to hold a U.S. House seat from Texas.

Ortiz Jones is the second Pardee School alumni to win a Congressional primary in 2018. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Pardee ’11) upset top-ranking House Democrat Joe Crowley in the June 26, 2018 primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District, a blue-leaning district comprised of the Bronx and Queens. Ocasio-Cortez, who graduated from Boston University with degrees in international relations and economics, is a former organizer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign and a former staffer for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.

Ortiz Jones was interviewed for a June 18, 2018 article in BU Today entitled “A Different Kind of Texas Candidate.

From the text of the interview:

Her district, which stretches from San Antonio to the outskirts of El Paso in southwest Texas, traditionally leans Republican, but the seat has been swapped back and forth between the parties for a decade. Trump’s stance on immigration—including separating children of asylum-seekers from their parents—should help Ortiz Jones with the more than two-thirds of voters who identify as Hispanic.

“This is a district that very much mirrors the challenges and opportunities we face as a country,” she says. “It’s a majority-minority district, something the whole country will be by 2040. We talk about the Wall and immigration policy because 40 percent of the US-Mexico border is in this district. A lot of the issues being discussed nationally are playing out in this district.”

Read the full interview here.