Republicans gain Hispanic but will he keep seat?

March 12, 2012 2:18:42 AM PDT
The Texas governor, attorney general, state comptroller and House speaker rarely come together to heap praise on a freshman lawmaker. But that's what happens when a Hispanic state representative drops the Democratic Party to become a Republican.

Gov. Rick Perry said that for Republicans to continue to hold a majority in Texas, Republicans need to recruit more Hispanics. So he welcomed Harlingen state Rep. J.M. Lozano to the party.

The question is whether Lozano can now beat his two Republican competitors in the May 29 primary.

Party-switchers have not fared well in the past. Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, a Democrat who leads the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, said he expects Lozano to face a tough race to win the primary when Republicans want conservative lawmakers.