(Alexandria, VA) Over the holiday weekend, the Wall Street Journal featured a column by Convergence Partner Mike Shields on Congresswoman Mayra Flores’ historic victory in the TX-34 special election, how her unique story resonated with voters in South Texas and what it means for the future of the Democratic Party.
Hispanic Republicans Have Democrats Seeing Red in Texas
Mayra Flores won a congressional district that went for Hillary Clinton by more than 20 points.
By Mike Shields
Wall Street Journal
Harlingen, Texas – The birds were making a tremendous racket. We were trying to shoot a campaign commercial for Mayra Flores outside the cotton gin where her father once worked. The foreman remembered Ms. Flores from when she was a teenager. She’d toiled in the same fields, now filled with birds so noisy our camera crew found it impossible to record. A worker retrieved a pistol from his truck and fired it into the air. The birds flew off and we got the shot.
The episode was emblematic of how out of touch the Democrats are with Texas’ conservative Hispanic community. Guns are a part of life in the Rio Grande Valley, the area Ms. Flores, a 36-year-old Republican, now represents in Congress. So are faith, family, tradition, hard work, accountability and love for America—ideals that are in direct conflict with the politics of grievance Democrats use in their one-size-fits-all outreach to minorities.
There were other elements that led to Ms. Flores’s victory in a special election to fill the seat left vacant by the March retirement of Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela. The first is Ms. Flores herself. She’s no career politician; she is a respiratory-care nurse married to a Border Patrol agent. Though born in Mexico, she legally emigrated to the U.S. with her parents when she was 6. She loves her community and grew tired of its treatment as a political football by media and political elites who have no idea what life is actually like near the border.