Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Mayra Flores Is Running Again

On March 31, 2022, then-Rep. Filemon Vela Jr. (D-TX) abruptly resigned from the House to become a lobbyist with Akin Gump (which is not related to Forrest Gump). Mayra Flores, who had never run for public office before, filed to run as a Republican in the Texas district along the Mexican border that had been Democratic for ages. She won, causing massive panic among Democrats. If they couldn't hold a heavily Latino district like Flores', were Latinos deserting them? Flores was the first woman born in Mexico to win a House seat. She also filed to run in the 2022 election, but this time in a redrawn district (the special election used the 2020 boundaries). This time she lost to Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX). Democrats relaxed a bit.

Now Flores has announced another run against Gonzalez in 2024. Given the tiny majority the Republicans have in the House, every seat matters and if Texas Latinos are really moving toward the Republicans, she could win this one again, even with the redistricting. The NRCC is solidly behind her.

Flores said her campaign will focus on empowering Border Patrol agents, one of whom is her husband. She will no doubt again get millions of dollars in donations, just as in 2022. However, she won't be able to outgun Gonzalez, a wealthy lawyer who recovered millions of dollars for plaintiffs nationwide and who can self-fund his campaign. He is conservative enough for the largely Latino district, but still voted for Joe Biden's position 97% of the time.

This will be a high-profile race because it will test the hypothesis that Latinos are becoming Republicans. (V)

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