Latino Democrats in Congress are raising alarm after Republican Mayra Flowers won a South Texas seat that has been held almost exclusively for Democrats for over 100 years.
Florez defeated Dan Sanchez, Democrat, in a Tuesday runoff election. Republicans claim this is a sign of a new trend among Latino voters. Democrats say the election was a fluke. Many Latino Democrats feel that their party has taken its voters for granted for way too long.
On Thursday, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) told Politico that the DCCC needed to take South Texas seriously. “I don’t believe it’s a political realignment but this should send out a message to DCCC… You cannot take Hispanics for granted as they always do.”
Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) said, “I hope that the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] will learn their lesson from this before it happens across all of the countries.” They have forgotten about the Brown people at the border. That’s what it is. It’s not something I want to sugarcoat. They take South Texas Latinos for granted.”
Republicans are also profiting from Flores’ win and arguing that it is yet another sign that the party is making progress with Latino voters after President Donald Trump won historic support in 2020.
Fox News’ Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, said that “it’s a precursor to things that we believe are to come in the Hispanic community across the country.” “Democrats should be very concerned about what they’re seeing among Hispanic voters.”
However, some Democrats claim that Republican spending on Flores’ race was a waste of effort for a symbolic win. Flores will now be heading to Washington to represent Texas’ 34th Congressional District. Nevertheless, the district was redrawn to favor Democrats for the November election.
Sanchez was defeated by Flores in the 34th District version that President Joe Biden won by four points in 2020. However, the Republican-drawn version would favor Biden by fifteen points.
“Look, I believe the Republicans spent millions to win this seat that’s being lost. “We’re going to win the seat when it matters,” Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.), who is also chair of DCCC, told Politico. “You don’t like losing, so I can understand why people were upset. Republicans have burned a lot of dollars, and that’s what we’ll end up with”.
Flores is now settling into her office, but she will soon face an electoral challenge against Gonzalez in November to decide the fate of the new 34th District.