On Tuesday EMILY’s List, a major Democratic fundraiser for women in politics, announced Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo as the winner of its Gabby Giffords Rising Star award.
The award is named after the former congresswoman and gun control advocate Gabby Giffords and is awarded to notable women serving in elected office.
Previous winners include Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams in 2014 and then-Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley in 2015.
“We are honored to announce Judge Lina Hidalgo as the recipient of the 2021 EMILY’s List Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award,” said Emily Cain, EMILY’s List’s executive director, according to the Texas Tribune. “Lina, the first woman and first Latina to be elected Harris County judge and only the second to be elected to Harris County’s Commissioners Court, truly embodies the values this award represents by leading with compassion, commitment to community, and as a champion for families.”
Hidalgo was elected as Harris County judge in 2018. As a 27-year-old candidate and political newcomer, she unseated two-term Republican incumbent Ed Emmett and ended the long-time Republican majority in Harris County Commissioners Court.
Her first term has been marked by misdemeanor bail reform and an early and cautious local response to the pandemic that has often run counter to the wishes of Republican state and federal officials who have pushed for more relaxed public health safety.
In April, Hidalgo was also awarded this year’s John F. Kennedy New Frontier Awards, an award that celebrates Americans under the age of 40 serving in public office. She also received a nod on Time Magazine’s most recent list of 100 emerging leaders.