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Solomon Ortiz


Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 27th district
Incumbent
Assumed office 
January 3, 1983
Preceded by None (District Created After 1980 Census)

Born June 3, 1937 (1937-06-03) (age 72)
Robstown, Texas
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) divorced
Residence Corpus Christi, Texas
Alma mater Del Mar College
Occupation law enforcement
Religion Methodist
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1960-1962

Solomon Porfirio Ortiz (born June 3, 1937 in Robstown, Texas) is an American politician from the State of Texas who currently serves in the United States House of Representatives from Texas's 27th congressional district (map) based in Corpus Christi.

Contents

Early life

Solomon Porfirio Ortiz was born in Robstown, Nueces County, Texas. His family had migrated to Texas from Mexico. Ortiz identifies himself as a member of the Methodist Church. As a young boy, he worked as a shoeshiner and an inker for the letter press of his hometown newspaper, The Robstown Record. During his jobs, he made friends with law enforcement officers. Ortiz was very impressed with the officers and he became fascinated with law and law enforcement because of them. He went to school at Robstown High School and attended Del Mar College from 1965 to 1967.

Army

When Ortiz was 16, his father died, leaving him to support the family. In 1960, Ortiz decided to join the army because it gave him a place to stay and a good way to make money. Ortiz got his education in the army, getting the equivalent of a high school diploma. He was trained in Fort Hood, Texas and then was sent to Verdun and Vitry-le-François, France.

One day, an officer inspecting his barracks found books about crime investigations and police techniques. The officer asked if he was interested in police work, which he enthusiastically replied, "Yes". He was reassigned to the 61st Military Police Company Criminal Investigation Office. In Fort Gordon, Georgia, he received his advanced military police training until 1962. This was a step in the direction of his future government work.

Running for Sheriff

Back in South Texas, Ortiz worked as an insurance agent for three years. Then, his friends convinced him that he should run for the Nueces County Country Constable (Constable — A public officer similar to a sheriff also having judicial duties). They said that his experience in the Army would help.

In 1964, Ortiz began gathering support and talking to other Hispanics about what he would do for justice. Later, Ortiz realized that he had to pay a $600 filing fee to apply for the campaign. Ortiz talked to his mother about this and was surprised by her reaction. She said they would take out a $1000 loan, for the filing fee and to help pay the Hispanic poll tax.

Ironically, soon after, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed, which outlawed poll taxes. In his first election, Ortiz was sure he would fail, but he was amazed to find that he had made it into the runoff by defeating the current Constable. In 1965, he won the final election.

Rapid Rise

Ortiz served as Constable for four years until 1968. In 1969, he ran for County Commissioners Court of Nueces County and won. He was a County Commissioner until 1976, when he became the Nueces County Sheriff.

In 1982, due to Texas' population increase, the 27th District of Texas was created and Ortiz ran for the Congressional seat. He was elected as a Democrat to Congress in 1982 (taking office January 3, 1983), and he has served continuously since then. Ortiz was assigned to the House Armed Services Committee and the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee. This assignment covers four military bases. Since then, Ortiz's specialty has become defense policy and the readiness of the Armed Forces.

Current status

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Committee assignments

References

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
District created after 1980 census
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Texas's 27th congressional district

1983–Present
Succeeded by
incumbent

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