The group of women made history as the largest group of Black female judges to be elected at one time Harris County, the largest county in the state. The women include Judges Shannon Baldwin, Lucia Bates, Ronnisha Bowman, Sharon Burney, Lori Chambers Gray, Dedra Davis, Linda Dunson, Toria Finch, Ramona Franklin, Angela Graves-Harrington, Cassandra Holleman, Erica Hughes, Maria Jackson, Tonya Jones, Latosha Lewis Payne, Michelle Moore, Sandra Peake, Germaine Tanner, and LaShawn Williams.
They previously made headlines in November during the historic midterm elections, which saw an increase in the diversity of elected officials.
The Harris County Democratic Party shared photos from the swearing-in ceremony.
“Today we usher in a new era of representative government and progressive leadership in Harris County,” the group captioned the images.
It’s a brand new day in Harris County! Swearing in of the Newly Elected County Officials and Judges.
— Harris Democrats (@harrisdemocrats) January 1, 2019
County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the 27-year-old Colombian immigrant who unseated longtime judge Republican Ed Emmett in November, was also sworn in alongside Black Girl Magic Texas.
“We made history in Harris County on Nov. 6 by electing a talented group of individuals who reflect the people and communities we serve,” Hidalgo said in a statement about the ceremony. “That would not have been possible without the support of the residents of Harris County.”
What a privilege to stand with this group of men and women. I am honored to lead Harris County’s newly elected officials. pic.twitter.com/S61Mrp5Duu
— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) January 1, 2019
According to the Houston Chronicle, 43 percent of Harris County is Hispanic, and approximately 20 percent of its residents identify as African-American.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.