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Inside Mayra Flores’ Historic Victory: The First Mexican-born Republican Who Won a Biden District

El histórico triunfo de Mayra Flores, la primera mexicanoamericana que llega al Congreso de Estados Unidos ganando una elección clave para el GOP en Texas

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REPUBLICAN MAYRA FLORES, of Mexican origin, has just made history in a big way by winning the special election in the 34th district in South Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley. It is an unprecedented milestone as the Republican Party candidate becomes the first Mexican-born woman to hold a seat in the U.S. Congress and the first GOP candidate to win in this historically blue area.

Flores obtained 51% of the vote, beating her Democratic contender Dan Sanchez by eight percentage points (43%).

In total, Mayra Flores reached 14,780 votes, while the Democrats split their votes among two candidates: Dan Sanchez with 12,560, and Rene Colorado with 1,199. Even so, between the two of them (13,759), they did not reach Flores’ line.  

This special election was held because former representative Filemón Vela, of the Democratic Party, resigned from Congress in March, failing to complete his term. Flores’ victory positions her as the incumbent until the mid-term elections in November, where she will have to revalidate her win in a closer race and the Democrats will try to reverse their historic failure in South Texas. Flores will have to work to continue convincing the Latino voter and also to secure the small percentage of votes obtained by Republican Juana Cantu-Cabrera, who obtained almost 2%.

El histórico triunfo de Mayra Flores, la primera mexicanoamericana que llega al Congreso de Estados Unidos ganando una elección clave para el GOP en Texas
Results of the special election in the 34th district in Texas (Source: The New York Times)

The big win represents an electoral paradigm shift, as it shows that the Hispanic vote is increasingly moving closer to the Republican Party and turning its back on the more radical progressive sector of the Democratic Party.

Mayra Flores’ Victory in Context: Beating Biden and Clinton

Flores, who once told El American that “the radical left does not represent Latinos,” came to office with a clear conservative discourse giving great importance to border security, family values, patriotism and God; and harshly criticizing the progressive policies of the Democratic Party that in his words are not in tune with the interests of Latinos in the United States.

To put Mayra Flores’ win in perspective, Hillary Clinton had won Texas’ 34th district by 33 percentage points and Joe Biden himself won this district in 2020 by 13 points. Eighty-five percent of the electoral roll of the district is Latino voters and, in addition, in more than 100 years, a Republican Party candidate had never won in the Rio Grande Valley region until the irruption of the Mexican American.

According to The Texas Tribune, the Republicans worked hard to change the color of this seat by the hand of Mayra Flores, investing millions in the campaign of the Mexican American to take advantage of the discontent of the Latino voter with the Democratic Party.

“Republicans have been eager to flip the seat as part of their new offensive in South Texas after Biden’s underperformance throughout the predominantly Hispanic region in the 2020 election,” reads The Texas Tribune. “Flores and her allies spent over $1 million on TV ads in the special election, while national Democrats largely stayed away, arguing it was not worth it to save a seat that will be up again in November and under new, more favorable boundaries.” 

Is There a Red Wave Incoming?

The Rio Grande Valley has been hit hard by the border crisis accentuated by the Biden administration’s open borders policies. This undoubtedly influenced the change in the seat color that may be the preamble to a massive Republican victory in the November elections.

The Flores milestone stunned many progressive media and analysts. For example, Eric Michael Garcia, a columnist at MSNBC, wrote on Twitter that he did not expect the Republican victory in the 34th district and that this district color change represents “a five alarm fire for Democrats.”

Conservative strategist and commentator Giancarlo Sopo,who traveled to Texas for the special election, said on Twitter that the Republican “who ran on a pro-borders, pro-patriotism, pro-God and pro-family platform” and that shows that “The Hispanic shift is real and we’re just getting started.”

The impact of Mayra Flores was so great that even the billionaire Elon Musk, who lately distanced himself from the Democratic Party because of his approach to the woke ideology, admitted on Twitter that he voted for the Mexican-American and that it is the first time he has voted for the Republican Party in his entire life.

“I voted for Mayra Flores — first time I ever voted Republican,” Musk pointed out.

“Massive red wave in 2022,” the Tesla owner added.

Flores herself thanked Musk for the endorsement and also welcomed him to the GOP in a Twitter response.

“Welcome to the Republican Party! We welcome all walk aways from all walks of life. The party of opportunity, prosperity and freedom is here to stay. We look forward to working together and building a better future for all of America,” responded the brand-new Congresswoman.

The entire Republican Party, from the official accounts of the GOP and also several representatives and senators, embraced the triumph of Mayra Flores, who is now making all the headlines in the national media after her feat in South Texas.

Correction (June 27, 2022): An earlier version of this article wrongly stated that Mayra Flores had been endorsed by President Trump.

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

Contacto: emmanuel.rondon@elamerican.com

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