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Republican-elect Mayra Flores says Democrats should take her victory in the Texas special congressional elections as a warning sign to stop taking Hispanic voters for granted.
Flores, who won Tuesday’s contest for an open seat in the House of Representatives along the country’s southern border in the Rio Grande Valley, made history as the first female congresswoman of Mexican descent. She is the first Republican to win in the highly Hispanic district since its inception a decade ago.
“The Democratic Party has been in control here in South Texas for over 100 years and feels entitled to vote. And they feel they don’t have to do anything to win our vote. And we sent a strong message to Washington, and we sent a strong message to the Democratic Party that you have to get to work. If you don’t, you will be voted,” Flores was warned in an interview with Fox News the morning after her victory.
Flores overturned Democrat who established a congressional seat in South Texas
The region, which stretches from areas east of San Antonio down to the southern border, was once a Democratic stronghold. Then-President Obama scored 22 points a decade ago, but President Biden’s winning margin was just 4.2 points in 2020.
When asked why the two counties in the province bordering Mexico — Cameron and Hidalgo counties — swung so hard toward her, Flores replied, “Because I’m one of them and I also stand up for our values. God, family, and our community. That’s us in South Texas. We all work hard.”
Flores topped 50 percent – avoiding a run-off – in a four-candidate race, beating Democrat Dan Sanchez by nearly eight points, to fill the last six moths of the former Democratic Representative’s term. Philemon Villa, who resigned in March to take up a job at a lobbying firm.
Not only does Flores’ victory narrow his one-seat victory to Democrats’ already slim majority in the House of Representatives, but it also gives Republicans more impetus in November’s midterm elections, when they aim to overturn other Hispanic Democrat-controlled majority districts.
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“This is just the beginning, and I think Hispanics across the country will see that more Hispanics are joining the Republican Party and they will research why and when to do that, and they will realize that their values align with the Republican Party.”
And Flores, a respiratory therapist who highlighted her story as the wife of a US Border Patrol agent and as a Mexican immigrant whose parents brought her to the US when she was a child, said, “There is an old saying that Hispanics are Republicans, they don’t know that. Well, we We know him now.”
A memo released Wednesday by the Republican Congressional National Committee, the House Republican re-election arm, noted that “Democrats have dominated elections in the Hispanic Rio Grande Valley for more than 100 years,” and argued that “Flores’ victory in the TX-34 election The specials are evidence that Republicans have a winning message with Hispanic voters and that no Democrat is safe in the current political environment.”
The seat was one of three border regions in Texas, and the NRCC was aiming to switch from blue to red this year. They also set their sights on converting Hispanic-majority areas in Arizona and California in November.
“Mayra’s victory demonstrated that we have a blueprint for success in South Texas, and it puts Republicans on standby for even greater success in November,” said the National Board of Corrections. This is the first of many Democrat-controlled seats that will overturn Republicans in 2022.”
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Flores and her Republican allies spent more than $1 million to run television ads in the special election, spending heavily on Sanchez. The National Democratic groups spent some last-minute money helping Sanchez with ads targeting Flores. But mostly, they’ve stayed on the sidelines, arguing that it wasn’t worth spending the money to protect a seat that will be back again in November.
That’s when he was a Democrat. Vincent Gonzalez, who represents a contiguous district, will contest the newly drawn 34th district, which Democrats say is better suited for their party.
“Mayra Flores, Republican from MAGA, shouldn’t feel comfortable — she barely has enough time to set up her office before South Texans send their baggage back. All eyes are on November now as we prepare to send Vicente Gonzalez to Congress this falls,” a Democracy Committee Congressional Campaign Chair Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney argued.
DCCC spokeswoman Monica Robinson said, “The one thing that the NRCC demonstrated last night is that they can barely pass their MAGA Republican candidates across the finish line when they beat Democrats 20 to 1 and if only 7% of voters turn out to be voting that seat is rented to Republicans. Vicente Gonzalez to Congress this fall.”
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But Flores does not agree.
“We won because of Cameron County, and we got really close to Hidalgo County. And those counties remain in my neighborhood. So the idea that it’s going to be easier on the Democrats in November, it’s completely wrong,” she said.
Looking ahead to her November showdown with Gonzalez, she warned that “this will be the toughest race he’s ever had in his life”.
This article was contributed to Fox News by Matthew Wall