The Hispanic vote in Texas is critical to campaigns and that fact is not lost on the state's majority party.
"What the party hasn't done in the past, at least in the last 5 years since President Bush left office, is engage the Hispanic community, and that is 50 percent of our job, showing up and making sure we're communicating," RNC Deputy Political Director Jennifer Sevilla Korn said.
That's why the Republican National Committee is setting up shop in Texas. A new state team will lead the effort to engage voters, strengthen ties with Hispanic Republicans and get people to the polls.
"What's unprecedented about this is that we're starting very early and it's permanent and year round," Sevilla Korn said.
Attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott knows the need for the Hispanic vote. He also says the message about what the Republican Party stands for is resonating more with Hispanics.
"When Latinos and Latinas sit down and go down the list of issues one by one and find out where the Republican Party really stands, they too realize they are Republican," Abbott said.
While past elections show Hispanics overwhelmingly vote Democratic, Abbott argues more Hispanic leaders in the state are switching parties.
"We haven't seen Hispanics switching from the Republican Party to the Democrat Party,” Abbott said. “This is a one way street that we're driving on down a more powerful future for the great state of Texas."
RNC members say this outreach effort will be a long term, permanent program. There are already seven state directors in place—including one in Texas—and plan to expands to 17 states by the end of the year.