Ruben Hinojosa was elected to the Texas State Board of Education in 1974 and re-elected four times.
He was elected to the U.S. House in 1996, receiving 62 percent of the vote against Republican Tom Haughey. Hinojosa was re-elected in 1998, defeating Haughey with 59 percent of the vote.
He was re-elected in 2000 with 88 percent of the vote. He was unopposed in 2002.