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Birthdate: July 27, 1953
Birth Place: Benavides, TX, United States
Residence: Corpus Christi, TX
Rose Meza Harrison in Benavides, Texas. Her father worked in the oilfields and her mother was a homemaker.
As a single mother and full-time legal secretary, Harrison studied in her spare time at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and eventually earned a bachelor's in political science. She later earned a law degree at her alma mater and opened her own law practice.
She serves as assistant county attorney for Nueces County, which includes Corpus Christi.
Harrison is divorced and has three children.
Rose Meza Harrison is seeking to become the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress from Texas, but she will have to do it in the state's 27th Congressional District, which has been redrawn to be more conservative.
Harrison finished second in the May 2012 primary for the 27th District seat, but defeated Corpus Christi attorney Jerry Trevino in the July runoff. She advances to face incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold in the November general election.
An assistant county attorney in Nueces County, Harrison began her political career in 2007 when she was appointed chairwoman of the San Patricio County Texas Democratic Party. Three years later, she was elected chairwoman of the Democratic Party in Nueces County. Meza Harrison announced in 2011 that she would challenge Farenthold who unseated long-serving Democratic U.S. Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz by only a few hundred votes in 2010.
The Republican-dominated Texas Legislature redrew the district so that it encompassed far more conservative areas around Corpus Christi and along the Texas Gulf Coast and no longer included Brownsville and heavily Democratic regions along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The remapping was challenged in court by advocacy groups who claimed they discriminated against minority voters, and a federal appeals court in San Antonio redrew interim maps that moved Harrison into a district based in Brownsville. However, the U.S. Supreme Court eventually redrew the Texas congressional boundaries for 2012, putting Harrison back into a race against Farenthold.
Harrison failed to win the endorsement of the Corpus Christi Caller Times, which said Trevino would have been a more loyal Democrat and a moderate voice that would give the party a better chance to unseat Farenthold.
Texas Democratic Party leaders have dubbed Farenthold vulnerable and may support Harrison's bid as part of the national party's quest to win back seats in the House.
Source: Associated Press
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