June 16, 2022

While there were higher profile races on the ballot in Tuesday's primaries, the biggest news came in a special election to fill Texas’ 34th District House seat that was thrown open by the resignation of Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela. In the largely Hispanic district that runs from east of San Antonio to Brownsville, Republican Mayra Flores flipped the seat to red by beating Democrat Dan Sanchez 51-43%.

Sanchez is a Catholic and a very rare staunch pro-life Democrat, which made him less than popular with the national Party, but should have helped him in that district. Despite that, the Republican won big in a district that Joe Biden carried by 13 points in 2020. Ms Flores thanked God, her family and the voters, and said, “I look forward to standing strong for our conservative values of faith, family, and freedom and to earning the opportunity to serve our community further in the months to come.”

Her parents brought her to the US when she was six, which makes her not only a woman who flipped a seat against long odds, but also the first Mexican-born Congress member in history. All of that would no doubt make her a media darling if she were a Democrat. Since she’s a Republican, we’ll have to wait and see whether the media decides to vilify her or just pretend she doesn’t exist.

But she does. And she will occupy a seat in a Hispanic majority district that used to be blue.