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Texas County Makes History After Swearing In 17 Black Female Judges

HARRIS COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) - It was history in the making in Harris County where a new year brought the swearing-in of newly elected officials -- among them 17 black female judges.

The group of women, who were part of a local democratic campaign called "Black Girl Magic Texas," made headlines when they won their respective midterm elections in November. Together, they make up what is believed to be the largest group of black female judges to be elected at the same time in Harris County history.

The Harris County Democratic Party posted pictures of the swearing-in ceremony, which took place on Tuesday morning.

Harris County black female judges - Black Girl Magic
(credit: Harris County Democratic Party)

"Today we usher in a new era of representative government and progressive leadership in Harris County," the group wrote.

County Judge Lina Hidalgo was also sworn in on Tuesday. Hidalgo is a 27-year-old Colombian immigrant who unseated incumbent Republican Ed Emmett in November. At the time, Emmett had held the position of Country Judge for more than 10 years.

Hidalgo has spoken at length about the importance of diversity in Harris County's government. "We made history in Harris County on November 6 by electing a talented group of individuals who reflect the people and communities we serve," she said in a press release. "That would not have been possible without the support of the residents of Harris County."

Harris County, which includes Houston, is the largest county in the state. According to the most recent census data 43-percent of people in Harris County are Hispanic, and nearly 20-percent of the county's residents identify as African-American.

North Texan Colin Allred was among the group of African Americans being sworn in.

Allred defeated Republican incumbent Pete Sessions for the 32nd Congressional District seat.

CBS 11 News asked Allred about potential pressure from House leadership to vote a certain way and if there is any scenario in which he would vote against his party. He said, "Of course, of course. If' it's good for North Texas, of course I would. And I'm a former NFL linebacker, I don't think anyone's going to be pressuring me into anything."

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company contributed to this report.)

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