A deep-blue House district in South Texas turned vivid red following a particular election Tuesday — suggesting November’s midterms could possibly be much more profitable for Republicans than beforehand thought.
Mexico-born GOPer Mayra Flores stormed to victory with 51% of the vote in the four-person race to succeed outgoing Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela. Democrat Dan Sanchez, Vela’s choose to comply with him in Congress, got here in second with simply 43.3% of the vote.
The final result in a district the place 85% of the residents are Latino — and which Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton gained by greater than 20 share factors in the 2012 and 2016 presidential elections, respectively — despatched shockwaves by way of the political panorama.
“This is sort of how I felt seeing some of the shifts in Appalachia in 2010, or blue collar areas in 2016,” RealClearPolitics senior elections analyst Sean Trende tweeted because the outcomes rolled in Tuesday night time. “Except this I genuinely didn’t think I’d see for another 20 years or so. Just astonishing.”
Signs of a rightward shift in the district appeared in the 2020 election, when President Biden solely defeated Donald Trump by 4 share factors, and Flores paid tribute to the forty fifth president in her victory speech.
“We cannot accept the increase [in the price] of gas, of food, of medication, we cannot accept that. And we have to state the facts, that under President Trump, we did not have this mess in this country,” she instructed a cheering crowd.
Flores, who’s married to a Border Patrol agent, ran closely on border security and was strongly backed by the Republican National Committee — spending greater than $1 million on TV advertisements introducing herself to voters, in keeping with the Texas Tribune. As a outcome, she grew to become the primary Republican to signify any a part of the Rio Grande Valley since 1870.
“Congratulations to Mayra Flores, the next Congresswoman for TX-34! Mayra is leading the charge for Republicans who are working to flip South Texas red,” RNC chair Ronna McDaniel stated in a press release. “She is a fierce conservative who will make the RGV proud, and we will continue working to reelect her in November.”
Flores additionally earned the help of her most well-known new constituent, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who owns a house in in Boca Chica — a part of the district that snakes up the Gulf coast between Brownsville and Corpus Christi earlier than turning inward into rural South Texas.
“I woke up this morning still feeling surreal from everything that’s happened over the last 24 hours,” Flores tweeted Wednesday. “Earning Elon Musk’s vote was just the icing on the cake and I can’t wait to work with his team! The American Dream is worth fighting for.”
Flores gained’t have lengthy to serve in Congress. As she finishes the rest of Vela’s time period, she must run to maintain her seat in opposition to Rep. Vicente Gonzalez. The redrawn thirty fourth District will probably be extra pleasant to Democrats, who cited the low-turnout nature of Tuesday’s particular election and the money behind Flores to downplay her victory.
“Based on the results, we came up short tonight despite being outspent by millions of dollars from out of state interests and the entire Republican machine,” Sanchez stated in his concession assertion. “Too many factors were against us, including little to no support from the National Democratic Party and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.”
But with Republicans on the assault in this midterm season, Tuesday’s victory is an indication of what’s potential for them on Nov. 8.
“The new ‘reality’ is much more Biden +4 than Clinton +21 or even Vela +13 (which happened in 2020),” elections analyst Kyle Kondik tweeted Tuesday night. “Some caveats … tiny turnout, R candidate much better funded. But to me those are things that only explain so much these days.”