State Rep. Claudia Ordaz Perez, D-El Paso, on the House floor on May 7. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

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State Rep. Claudia Ordaz Perez announced Monday she is challenging a fellow El Paso Democrat, Art Fierro, instead of running for reelection against Rep. Lina Ortega, another El Pasoan who she was pitted against in redistricting.

Under the map that Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law, Ordaz Perez is drawn into House District 77, the seat that Ortega, who is also a Democrat, has held since 2017.

“El Paso’s redrawn maps sadly epitomize what Texas Republicans are trying to achieve statewide. House District 76 has been taken away from El Paso and two Hispanic female representatives are being pitted against one another,” she said in her announcement.

Fierro has announced he is running for reelection and told The Texas Tribune that he is “prepared to run a strong reelection campaign no matter who runs.”

Ordaz Perez and Ortega were paired from the start of the redistricting process, a result of Republican map-drawing following the 2020 census. It showed El Paso grew slower than the rest of the state and could no longer claim five districts wholly contained within the county.

Ordaz Perez and Ortega were united in their opposition to the proposed map. Ortega said it was a “direct attack on our border community and weakens the representation of minorities in the Texas Legislature.”

Despite their efforts, the Republican-led Legislature passed the map without unpairing the two lawmakers, leaving Ordaz Perez with a tough decision — run against a fellow Latina or find another path to reelection.

Fierro has represented House District 79 since winning a special election in January 2019. Ordaz Perez is the newest member of the El Paso delegation after she won an open seat last year.

All of the El Paso-anchored districts are safely Democratic.​

The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is the only member-supported, digital-first, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

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