Roger Williams | KERA News

Roger Williams

A new Congress took office today in Washington, D.C., and among the newcomers are a pair of trailblazers from Texas: Republican Ted Cruz, the first Latino to represent the Lone Star State in the Senate, and Democrat Marc Veasey, the first African-American House member from Tarrant County.

University of North Texas political scientist Matthew Eshbaugh-Soha says that while freshman often don't wield much power, newcomers Cruz, Veasey and U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, a Weatherford Republican, will face some heavyweight votes.