The Democratic Party has just suffered a huge loss after a Republican candidate flipped a House seat in a deep blue district that’s been held by Democrats for over 150 years.
The news is a major blow to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democrat President Joe Biden as the likely red wave in the November midterm elections looms.
Mayra Flores (R) beat Dan Sanchez (D) in the #TX34 special election last night.
The district is 84% Hispanic and has solidly voted Democrat for decades, until now.
The seat is currently vacant due to the resignation of Democratic Congressman Filemon Vela.
Dave Wasserman of Cook Political Report broke it down: “I’ve seen enough: Mayra Flores (R) defeats Dan Sanchez (D) in the #TX34 special election, flipping an 84% Hispanic Rio Grande Valley seat red.
“Wow, Mayra Flores (R) just took the lead vs. Dan Sanchez (D) in Cameron Co., an almost entirely Hispanic county that voted Biden +13 in 2020.
“Would be an exclamation point on flipping the seat red. #TX34.”
This historic win will bring back God to the halls of Congress! This win is for the people who were ignored for so long! This is a message that the establishment will no longer be tolerated! We have officially started the red wave!! #TX34
God, Family, Country pic.twitter.com/pNn8UYoPor
— Mayra Flores For Congress 🇺🇸🦅 (@MayraFlores2022) June 15, 2022
“This historic win will bring back God to the halls of Congress! This win is for the people who were ignored for so long!
“This is a message that the establishment will no longer be tolerated! We have officially started the red wave!! #TX34.
“God, Family, Country.”
This is the first time since reconstruction a Republican will represent the Rio Grande Valley in Congress.
I’ve seen enough: Mayra Flores (R) defeats Dan Sanchez (D) in the #TX34 special election, flipping an 84% Hispanic Rio Grande Valley seat red.
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) June 15, 2022
Sanchez (D) concedes in #TX34 special election:
“Too many factors were against us, including little to no support from the National Democratic Party and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.” pic.twitter.com/jUk4npviC7
— Patrick Svitek (@PatrickSvitek) June 15, 2022
From Texas Monthly:
When Mayra Flores won a special congressional election Tuesday, she made history in more than one way.
In Washington, D.C., she’ll be the first woman born in Mexico to serve as a Republican in Congress.
She’s also helped the GOP secure its most-desired dream for this year in South Texas: for the first time since Reconstruction, a Republican will represent the Rio Grande Valley in Congress.
The GOP has spent much of the last year trumpeting its ascendance in South Texas, ever since Donald Trump’s shocking success in the counties that stretch from Laredo all the way down the Rio Grande Valley to the Gulf.
Between 2016 and 2020, Trump improved his performance in some of these counties, traditionally Democratic strongholds, by more than 50 percent.
But it was hard to know whether voters were actually shifting to the right or whether the forty-fifth president was simply a once-in-a-generation candidate.
Even with his success on the top of the ballot, not a single GOP candidate won a congressional race in South Texas in 2020.
Flores put the question to rest on Tuesday.
For a GOP desperate to prove it’s not simply the party of non-Hispanic white people, her win in Texas’s Thirty-fourth Congressional District, which spans from Brownsville up the Gulf Coast all the way to the San Antonio exurbs, is of great significance.