Republicans flipped a Democratic-friendly Texas Congressional seat with Mayra Flores defeating Democrat Dan Sanchez.
Republican Mayra Flores made history by becoming the first Mexican-born congresswoman to serve in the House after beating a Democrat in a primary election in Texas.
A once fairly solid Democratic district in South Texas will now be represented by the Republican after Flores beat Democrat Dan Sanchez in a special primary election to finish the term of former Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, who resigned this year to become a lobbyist.
Flores, a GOP organizer who is the daughter of migrant workers and a respiratory care practitioner, will hold the seat for several months before the district is redrawn to be more favorable to Democrats.
But her victory in the heavily Hispanic Rio Grand Valley is an ominous sign for Democrats – and demonstrates that Republicans are making inroads with Hispanic voters.
And in South Carolina, Donald Trump notched a significant victory after his preferred candidate, Rep. Russell Fry, easily ousted five-term Rep. Tom Rice, the first Republican to be ousted from office after voting to impeach the former president last year over January 6.
But another high-profile Republican target of Trump in the state, Rep. Nancy Mace, managed to hold back a challenger.
Meanwhile, in Nevada, Trump’s pick, Adam Laxalt, won his U.S. Senate primary, defeating a populist candidate who is arguably more representative of the Trump base.
The trio of races was called Tuesday night around 11 p.m., after voters went to the polls in South Carolina, Texas’ 34th Congressional District, Nevada, North Dakota and Maine.
Flores’ win makes her the first Mexican-born American to serve in the US House. She will also be the first Republican Latina from the state of Texas to serve.
Flores had 51 percent of the vote compared to Sanchez’s 43 percent when the Democrat conceded the race in a district where 85 percent of residents are Latino.
Her victory also has implications for Democrats’ ambitions in Congress, denying House Speaker Nancy Pelosi an opportunity to add to her slim two-vote margin to pass legislation.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he had voted for Republicans for the first time in order to vote for Flores.
He tweeted: ‘I voted for Mayra Flores – first time I ever voted Republican. Massive red wave in 2022.’
Trump has gone state-by-state backing primary challengers for the 10 lawmakers or helping motivate their retirements. He’s also taken on Republican lawmakers like Mace who made critical statements.
Who is Mayra Flores?
Flores immigrated to the United States when she was six years old from Burgos Tamaulipas in Mexico and her parents were farmworkers in Texas.
During her childhood, Flores worked alongside her parents in the cotton fields in Memphis to earn extra money for school clothes and supplies.
She graduated in 2014 as a Respiratory Care Practitioner and currently works caring for the elderly and disabled with chronic respiratory issues – and has helped those suffering from Covid-19.
Flores, who later graduated with a Bachelor in Organizational Leadership, now serves as the Hidalgo County GOP Hispanic Outreach Chair.
She’s now a mother and married to a Border Patrol agent and promotes strict immigration policies.