|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Texas's 29th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Gene Green|
|Member of the Texas Senate|
from the 6th district
March 11, 2013 – November 9, 2018
|Preceded by||Mario Gallegos Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Carol Alvarado|
|Harris County Commissioner from Precinct 2|
January 1, 2003 – January 1, 2011
|Preceded by||Jim Fontento|
|Succeeded by||Jack Morman|
|12th City Controller of Houston|
January 2, 1998 – January 1, 2003
|Preceded by||Lloyd Kelly|
|Succeeded by||Judy Gray Johnson|
Sylvia Rodriguez Garcia
September 6, 1950
San Diego, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Texas Woman's University (BA)|
Texas Southern University (JD)
Sylvia Rodriguez Garcia (born September 6, 1950) is an American lawyer and politician who has been serving as the U.S. representative for Texas's 29th congressional district since 2019. Her district covers much of eastern Houston. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously represented the 6th district in the Texas Senate.
Sylvia Rodriguez Garcia was born in San Diego, Texas, and raised in Palito Blanco in west central Jim Wells County, the daughter of Luis and Antonia Rodriguez Garcia. She is the eighth of ten children. Her family are Mexican Americans.
After graduating from Ben Bolt-Palito Blanco High School, Garcia attended Texas Woman's University on a scholarship. She graduated with a degree in social work and began a career as a social worker. She later received her Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
In the early 1980s, Houston Mayor Kathryn Whitmire appointed Garcia as presiding judge of the Houston Municipal System. She served for an unprecedented five terms under two mayors.
In 1998, Garcia became Houston city controller.
Garcia was elected to the Harris County Commissioner's Court in 2002. She was the first woman and first Latina elected to that post in her own right. Her precinct featured a major base of operations for NASA, the nation's largest petrochemical complex, the Houston Ship Channel and the Port of Houston, the sixth largest port in the world.
In 2010, Garcia was defeated for reelection to the Harris County Commissioner's Court by Republican Jack Morman.
In 2013, Garcia defeated State Representative Carol Alvarado in a special election runoff to replace the late state Senator Mario Gallegos.
Garcia took the oath of office for state senator on March 11, 2013. She served on the Criminal Justice, Intergovernmental Relations, Natural Resources and Economic Development, and Transportation committees. Garcia ran unopposed in the 2016 general election.
While still serving as a municipal judge, Garcia ran in the Democratic primary for the newly created 29th congressional seat in 1992. She finished third in the five-way primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic, Latino-majority district—behind City Councilman Ben Reyes and State Senator Gene Green. Green won the runoff and held the seat for 26 years.
Green announced his retirement in November 2017, and Garcia—who by then held the state senate seat Green once held—entered a crowded seven-way Democratic primary. The district was still a Democratic stronghold, and it was taken for granted that whoever won the primary would be overwhelmingly favored in November. Garcia got a significant boost when Green endorsed her, saying, "she's a legislator, and that's what a member of Congress should be." She won the primary with 63% of the vote. Her Republican opponent, Phillip Aronoff, used the sexual harassment and wrongful termination allegations against Garcia. Garcia handily won the November 6 general election. She and Veronica Escobar became the first Latina congresswomen from Texas, and Garcia is the first woman to represent the district. Garcia is also the first Hispanic to represent a significant portion of Houston in Congress.
Garcia won reelection in 2020, defeating Republican Jaimy Blanco.
On January 15, 2020, Garcia was selected as one of seven impeachment managers who presented the impeachment case against President Donald Trump during his trial before the United States Senate.
|Democratic||Augustine H. Reyes||524||2.8|
|Democratic||Dominique Michelle Garcia||472||2.6|
|Independent||Johnathan Garza (write-in)||9||0.0|
|Democratic||Sylvia Garcia (incumbent)||111,305||71.1%|
Garcia supports the Equality Act, a bill that would expand the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. She voted for it in 2019.