Latin-American Democrats furious after they lose the blue state of South Texas. Within 24 hours of the Republican Party turning over the parliamentary district in southern Texas, several Latin Democrats hunted down the campaign manager and pleaded for the party to make a critical course correction. Republicans shattered nearly a century of almost uninterrupted Democratic control in that region Tuesday night, winning a special election in a heavily Latino border district that had rarely even been contested since its creation in 2012 but where the GOP has made rapid gains in recent years.
- 1 Latin-American Democrats furious after they lose the blue state of South Texas
Latin-American Democrats furious after they lose the blue state of South Texas
Democrats have been thinking about this trend since former President Donald Trump slashed the party’s margins in the Rio Grande Valley in 2020. However, national Republicans poured money into the special election in this 85% Latino district from the beginning. Meanwhile, despite requests from members to get involved earlier, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and its allies only made a small investment in the end.
Democratic Representative Vicente Gonzalez said, “I hope the DCCC learns from this before it happens across the country,” who will face GOP Representative-elect Mayra Flores in a redrawn district this fall due to redistricting. “They have just forgotten about the brown people on the border,” Gonzalez proceeded. “And that’s basically what it is. I’m not going to try to sugarcoat it anymore. They are taking Latinos in South Texas for granted.”
Several members approached DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney when the House reconvened Wednesday afternoon. Democratic Representative Sylvia Garcia and Veronica Escobar, both of whom predominantly represent Latino districts in Texas, were among them. Garcia stated that she has requested a meeting for next week and that Escobar, Gonzalez, and fellow Democratic Representative Cuellar and Joaquin Castro intend to attend. Gonzalez isn’t going to wait until next week. He stopped Maloney for a one-on-one meeting on the Capitol steps, where he could be heard pleading for the party to increase its investment in a region that is increasingly leaning Republican, and he warned that the loss could have been avoided.
Democrats say Republicans “spent millions of dollars to win a seat that’s going away”
According to senior Democrats, including Maloney, the situation is more complicated. They claim the GOP spent heavily for a symbolic, fleeting victory because the seat will be abolished due to a redistricting glitch. Democrats will have a much better chance in the new district.
“Look, I think the Republicans spent millions of dollars to win a seat that’s going away. We’re going to win this seat when it matters,” Maloney said in a brief interview. “You never like to lose, and I understand why people were upset by that. I think Republicans burned a lot of money, and we’re going to end up with that seat.”
But while the loss of this soon-to-be-disappearing version of Texas’ 34th district is only temporary, the trends it represents are becoming more and more concerned for Democrats. The severe victory of Flores, a naturopath, and wife of border guards, is the first shift in the mid-term cycle for Republicans, as the GOP seeks to occupy the border and the majority of Latino districts in November. Republicans have taken advantage of the victory to declare a preview of the Democratic defeat, November-especially at their former South Texas base.
Flores not only defeated Democratic candidate Dan Sanchez but also showed how Republicans pushed into the former blue territory in just a few years. In a few counties, Flores’ first inauguration in 2016 surpassed Trump by dozens of points. She led Cameron County, a long-standing support center for democracy. Republicans across the state were jubilant: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said in a brief interview, “South Texas has been a Democrat stronghold for over a century. To see South Texas move Republican is a seismic shift,” after Flores, whom he endorsed, won. Democratic leaders said the Republican victory was disappointing, but the DCCC needs to choose when and where to invest, especially given that the current district will only exist in the coming months.
“We’re going to invest heavily in every seat we think we can win”
Majority leader Steny Hoyer said in a brief interview when asked about the party’s decision not to prioritize the race, “I think we made the judgment that it was pretty much a Republican seat,” Asked When the party would spend a lot there in November, he said, “We’re going to invest heavily in every seat we think we can win.” Still, Democrats of many ranks and files, especially Latin Americans, were outraged that their party missed the opportunity to gain ground with voters that we’re moving away.
Most Democrats believe Gonzalez can maintain the redrawn version of the seat in November, but they are concerned that the GOP’s victory this week will provide a huge morale boost that will be difficult to reverse. “The DNC, the DCCC and all the Democratic national groups need to take a hard look at what happened,” Garcia said. “I realize this is a special, but it’s still given the Republicans a narrative to say: ‘We flipped a seat.’ And we should have done better.” “There is absolutely no logical reason why we should be losing any of these seats,” Escobar said, while lamenting the DCCC’s decision not to spend in the race.
“The border’s a big deal, and they’re not doing anything about it,”
House Majority PAC, a super PAC close to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, made a six-figure buy one week before the election. Many Democrats, however, felt it came too late, and some privately complained that the ad attempted to link Flores to conspiracy theories related to the January 6 insurrection in the United States Capitol. Republicans jumped on what they saw as an obvious Democratic messaging flop.
“The border’s a big deal, and they’re not doing anything about it,” National Republican Congressional Committee chief Tom Emmer said. “We are more in touch with the voters than our colleagues on the other side of the aisle.” Meeting Street Insights’ Republican polling of the district in mid-May found that the most important issue for voters was border security and immigration (35%), followed by inflation (28 percent). Flores and Republican outside groups slammed Democrats for having a lax border security policy, which has resulted in increased crime in the region.