Tuesday, Filemon Vela secured the Democratic Nomination for the 34th Congressional District of Texas with 67 percent, a vote margin of two to one. The 34th Congressional District of Texas encompasses 11 counties in South Texas. In 2008, Barack Obama carried 60 percent of the vote in the counties comprising the 34th Congressional District.
In the May 29 Democratic Primary, Vela led in an eight candidate field with 40.6 percent of the vote. The second place candidate received 13 percent of the vote.
"After five long and busy months on the campaign trail, the people of South Texas have spoken -- loud and clear -- they overwhelmingly chose me to be their Democratic nominee for Congress," Vela said minutes after learning of the final results. "I thank my supporters, friends, family and especially the voters for their tireless support and faith in my candidacy." Vela added that as a nation "we face great problems, but we are a great nation and a great people, and we will overcome these problems as we have overcome all obstacles in our history."
"I will continue to meet with community leaders, activists, and supporters to learn more about their needs. My priorities will continue to be job creation, revitalizing our economy, making health care affordable and accessible to South Texans, and ensuring that we provide educational opportunities for all," Vela remarked. Vela also mentioned that veterans' issues and national security will be of utmost importance to his congressional office.
Vela is the son of the late U.S. Federal Judge Filemon B. Vela, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Jimmy Carter, and the former Mayor of Brownsville, Blanca Sanchez Vela. He comes from a family with multi-generational commitment to public service. His wife Rose is a Justice on the Texas' Thirteenth Court of Appeals.
He attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he earned his bachelor of arts degree in government. He graduated from the University of Texas Law School in 1988 with a Doctor of Jurisprudence. He has practiced law in the State of Texas for close to 25 years.