SAN ANTONIO -- Two congressional candidates in Texas will participate in the first-ever Spanish-language congressional debate Tuesday night.
Latino residents make up close to 70 percent of the 23rd district's constituents in south Texas, up from 55 percent just a decade ago.
It's a demographic that both parties in Texas say is becoming increasingly important.
Demographers predict that by 2040 the Latinos will make up the majority of the Lone Star State's population.
"It's something that's not going to happen overnight," the Pew Hispanic Center's Mark Lopez said. "It's going to take a few decades for this youth population that is under the age of 18 to enter adulthood, to come of age and to be eligible to vote."
Both parties realize they have to address the Hispanic population like never before.
The GOP fears that if they fail to reach out to Latinos, Texas will become a Democratic state. Such a development would diminish the Republican Party's chances of occupying the White House in the future.