HOUSTON - Conservatives from every corner of Texas gathered at the George R. Brown Convention Center Thursday for a much-anticipated Republican State Convention.
9,000 Texas Republicans descended on downtown Houston with an ever-growing number of them identifying as Hispanic.
Richard Urdiales, a GOP delegate from Jersey City and one of the attendees tells FOX 26 it should not come as too much of a surprise.
"Hispanics are traditionally conservative," he said. "So they just have to be educated on what the Republican Party stands for."
Once a reliably Democratic constituency, many Latinos, particularly in South Texas, have been turned off by what they see as an "open border" policy enacted by President Joe Biden.
"I’m talking about Hispanics on the border who are just fed up because it is an invasion," said Alma Perez Jackson, Vice-Chair of the Texas Republican Party. "They are taking our jobs, and we are offering too much free whatever while we are ignoring our own veterans and citizens and taxpayers."
"Thousands and thousands of people coming over the border illegally. Biden shipping them all over the country," he continued. "They are bringing drugs with them."
"I think you see a lot of Hispanics coming over and voting on the Republican side because they understand its impacting me locally. They are coming across into our yards. They are coming across illegally. It’s a problem," said Arturo Grenado, a GOP Delegate from Nueces County.
Grenado says with census numbers now indicating a Latino majority in Texas, the significant, ongoing shift is essential for keeping the Lone Star State under Republican leadership for the long term.
"That is going to be the future of the Republican Party in Texas, the Hispanic voter and without that voter it will not exist in Texas," said Grenado.
Rice University Political analyst Mark Jones tells FOX 26 that as long as Republicans capture a third of the Latino fight Democrats have very little chance of winning statewide.