152-Year Blue U.S. House Seat Turns Red

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

On Tuesday night, Republicans celebrated as Mexican-born Mayra Flores defeated Democrat challenger Dan Sanchez with 51 to 43% of the vote to represent the 34th Congressional district in Texas. According to the Houston Chronicle, Democrats held the Rio Grande Valley seat since 1870.

Texas 34th district includes Cameron County near Brownsville and Harlingen and boasts an 84% Hispanic population. Flores is filling the vacated seat after Democrat Filemon Vela’s resignation. Vela stepped down to join a lobbyist group.

Democrats are predicting Flores a “caretaker” congresswoman, suggesting the seat will flip back to their column in November, according to Bloomberg.  Redistricting made a more Democratic, compact configuration of the 34th district, and the party doesn’t believe Flores will manage a second win.

She will face off against Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez under the new redistricting lines.

Republican lawmakers wasted no time or words in congratulating Flores.

“Historic win! Incredible job, @MayraFlores2022,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted. “Congrats to you and your team.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) tweeted: “Mayra’s win is historic and inspiring, as she is the FIRST Mexican-born woman elected to Congress. I look forward to working with Mayra to fight for the America First agenda!”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) tweeted: “Republican @MayraFlores2022 just beat a Democrat to win an open seat for Congress in a historically Democrat district in South Texas. Congress just got more Republican. Texas just got more red. The future is looking bright red in Texas.”

Elon Musk tweeted: “I voted for Mayra Flores – first time I ever voted Republican. Massive red wave in 2022.”

Flores tweeted her victory, noting the anticipated “red wave.”

“Congresswoman-Elect Mayra Flores and the people of Texas have a message for Joe Biden! The RED Tsunami is here!”