Lina Hidalgo’s persistence, tenacity and intelligence were clear from the moment I met her on the campaign trail in Texas in 2017. At the time, she was running for Harris County judge, and I was running for the U.S. Senate. I soon realized that she also had an extraordinary level of humility that is rare to find in somebody pursuing public office.
At 27, Hidalgo was elected to be the chief executive of a county that has more people in it than in the state of Nevada. Now 29, she is doing an incredible job as judge, as evidenced by her efforts to quickly respond to COVID-19—Harris County announced a mask mandate in April 2020, but a statewide policy didn’t follow until July—as well as to expand her constituents’ access to the ballot box. Early-voting sites offered by the county nearly tripled last year.
It’s hard to imagine a tougher set of circumstances to confront in your first term in office, but she has really distinguished herself and makes us proud—not just as Democrats but as Texans. That’s what leadership looks like.
O’Rourke, a former Congressman from Texas, was a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate