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Ruben was born and raised in Brownsville, where he attended public school and his teachers encouraged him to dream big. He was inspired by his Christian faith and by his mother, a trailblazing public servant herself, to dedicate his life to serving his community.

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A father of four children, Ruben has focused on fighting for a public education system that gives every child the opportunities, love, and attention they need to thrive. Ruben served as a member of the Brownsville ISD Board of Trustees before being elected to the Texas State Board of Education in 2012. On the State Board of Education, Ruben has advocated fiercely for the Rio Grande Valley and all 5.4 million Texas students. He has spent the past decade working tirelessly to give students, teachers, and parents the resources they need to succeed. 


Ruben worked across party lines to establish the first statewide course on Mexican-American studies, giving Texas students the opportunity to learn about the powerful influence of leaders like Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. He has fought against the STAAR test, to increase school funding and teacher pay, and to provide educational opportunities to all students, regardless of background. He continues to make sure South Texas has a voice when it comes to school curriculum and textbooks and to protect the rights of students, parents, and educators. 


Ruben's career in service has been defined by honesty, hard work, and joining together to accomplish positive results. Ruben was able to bring Democrats and Republicans on the State Board of Education together to deliver meaningful results for Texas schools. Ruben believes it is more important than ever to demand our leaders listen to us and focus on finding bipartisan solutions to the big challenges we face, including access to affordable health care, creating good paying jobs, ending the pandemic, and fixing the state's power grid. He looks forward to working across party lines to help families, businesses, and communities rebuild bigger and better than ever.

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About Ruben


Ruben Cortez believes in a Texas where children go to safe and high-performing schools, where families have good paying jobs and affordable healthcare, and where we don't have to worry about things as basic as keeping the lights on. 



As the Rio Grande Valley's most prominent supporter of public education, Ruben believes the first job is helping our students get back on their feet and making sure they're prepared for the bright future that awaits them. That means keeping schools healthy, safe, and open. Ruben has advocated for making sure all students have access to high speed internet, eliminating high-stakes testing, and for teachers to be paid professional salaries that respect their years of training. He has worked hard to make sure parents and teachers are involved together in writing curriculum that is transparent and collaborative. He has fought for schools to have access to the resources they need to rebuild from COVID, to meet staffing challenges, and to ensure each child receives the individual attention they need to thrive.



Ruben Cortez believes every family should have access to affordable and reliable health care, no matter their income or where they live. Texas should immediately expand Medicaid in order to access billions of dollars in federal funding that can help families in the Rio Grande Valley right away. Cortez has worked tirelessly to protect the health and safety of students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic. He believes Texas must act quickly to crush COVID and end the pandemic without closing schools or businesses.




Every person should have the ability to provide for their family through an honest day's work. Ruben supports expanding access to high paying jobs through investing in the green economy, workforce development, training, supporting local businesses, and ending the pandemic for good. He'll partner with public schools, colleges, universities, and the business community to ensure an efficient workforce pipeline that provides employees ready for the jobs of tomorrow. Ruben will fight to improve pay and make housing more affordable.



As a dad, Ruben knows you have to take care of the basics first. That means securing our communities and keeping the lights on, whether it's in the heat of summer or during a deadly winter freeze. Ruben will focus on the basic issues affecting South Texas, like addressing drainage and flooding, improving our aging roads and bridges, working to ease congestion at international ports, and bringing down property taxes. Ruben will prioritize making sure the Rio Grande Valley receives the services it needs without leaving families to get taxed out of their homes. He will fight to drastically lower property taxes by increasing the state's investment in public education. Ruben will also focus on fixing the broken foster care system and reforming the state's power grid so the lights never go off in Texas again. 



Ruben is focused on getting things done, not playing politics. He will restore honesty and transparency in government and willfight against the extreme politics that have distracted our state leaders and made Texas less safe. 



Texas Sen. Roland Gutierrez

Texas Rep. Terry Canales

Texas Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer

Texas Rep. Oscar Longoria

Texas Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr.

Texas Rep. James Talarico

Texas Rep. Christina Morales

BEST/AFT Brownsville Educators Stand Together

Texas Valley Educators Association

Texas American Federation of Teachers

Texas State Teachers Association


Climate Cabinet

Sierra Club

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes

Working Families Party

Texas Democrats with Disabilities

Juan Briones, La Feria ISD Board of Trustees

Alma Botello Martinez, La Feria ISD Board of Trustees

Lisa Montalvo, La Feria ISD Board of Trustees

Eloy Castaneda, Lasara ISD Board of Trustees

Rolando Velazquez, Lasara ISD Board of Trustees

Viola Vela, Lyford ISD Board of Trustees

Alicia Baldovinos, Point Isabel ISD Board of Trustees

Berta Zamora, Point Isabel ISD Board of Trustees

Jimmy Vela, former Point Isabel ISD Trustee

J. J. Zamora, Port Isabel Mayor

Martin Cantu, Jr., Port Isabel City Commissioner

Carol Lynn Sanchez, San Benito Mayor Pro-Tem

Joe Hernandez, former San Benito Mayor

Pete Galvan, San Benito City Commissioner

Rene Villafranco, San Benito City Commissioner

Ramiro Moreno, San Benito CISD Board President

Dr. Ariel Cruz, San Benito CISD Board of Trustees

Orlando Lopez, San Benito CISD Board of Trustees

Mario Silva, San Benito CISD Board of Trustees

Oscar Medrano, San Benito CISD Board Secretary

Anna Cruz, former San Benito CISD Trustee

Melissa Guadiana, San Perlita ISD Board President

Nora Vasquez, San Perlita ISD Board Vice-President

Nena Cavazos, San Perlita ISD Board of Trustees

David Rodriguez, San Perlita ISD Board of Trustees

Larry Cantu, South Texas ISD Board of Trustees

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