Hispanic Republicans Headed to Big Texas Wins

Hispanic Republicans Headed to Big Texas Wins rep. mayra flores

Rep. Mayra Flores, R-Texas (Getty Images)

John Gizzi By John Gizzi Tuesday, 01 November 2022 04:21 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Experts on all sides generally agree that only three of the 38 House districts in Texas (a gain of two as a result of the census and resulting redistricting last year) are genuinely competitive.

What makes the three especially interesting, as Lone Star State political scientist and author Wayne Thorburn told Newsmax, "is that all three are the heavily Hispanic districts in South Texas."

Thorburn and others are pointing to the new 15th District (Rio Grande Valley), the new 34th, and the 28th (Laredo).

The 15th is almost a straight line from Reynosa, up through Alice and Floresville to just outside San Antonio. After a hard-fought primary and runoff, Democrats nominated leftist Michelle Vallejo.

Last week, Vallejo got a boost when Bernie Sanders toured South Texas to boost Vallejo for her support of "Medicare for all, and protecting a woman's right to choose."

"[M]y socialist opponent is telling us exactly who she is — and why we must reject her radical agenda," replied insurance agent and conservative Republican Monica de la Cruz, who came within 6,800 votes of unseating Democratic Rep. Vincente Gonzalez in the old 15th in 2020.

The new 34th was won in a nationally watched special election earlier this year by Trump Republican Mayra Flores, the first-ever U.S. Representative to have been born in Mexico. She is now favored against three-term Rep. Gonzalez, who chose to run in the 34th rather than his former 15th.

"Most people view this as a tossup but if national trends hold up, Flores would be favored," said Thorburn, "It is a key indicator race for GOP efforts to make inroads with Mexican-American voters who predominate in this district."

The 28th, which centers around Laredo, is represented by the last remaining anti-abortion Democrats in the House. Rep. Henry Cuellar, who barely survived a primary challenge from the left earlier this year, was the subject of an FBI raid at his home related to his ties to the nation of Azerbaijan.

In addition, Cuellar and his brother, Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar, received donations from a conduit to the notorious Mexican crime syndicate Los Zetas — funds that both of them returned as soon as the conduit was identified.

Republican Cassy Garcia, a former staffer for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has hit hard at Cuellar for the raid and the donations.

Attention is growing on these three districts at a time when a survey by Americano Media, the first national conservative Hispanic network in Spanish, found Hispanic voters favor Democrats over Republicans nationwide by 50% to 36%; the 14-point margin a striking figure since Democrats held a 30 percentage point lead over Republicans at this point in 2020 and a 40 percentage point lead in polls conducted in October 2018.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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